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Patriots release tight end Ben Hartsock four days after signing him

Patriots release tight end Ben Hartsock four days after signing him Photo: Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Patriots have released veteran tight end Ben Hartsock, the team announced Thursday

Hartsock signed with the Patriots on Monday.

More: AFC East preview: Patriots favored again, but the gap may be closing​

Used primarily as a blocking tight end, the 34-year-old Hartsock has only 31 career receptions in 131 games. Football analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked Hartsock as the top run-blocking tight end in 2013.

This is the seventh transaction involving a tight end the Patriots have made since Sunday, ESPN's Mike Reiss points out.

The Patriots top tight end, Rob Gronkowski, did not appear in the team's preseason opener but expects to be ready for Week 1. 

More: Aaron Hernandez's cousin pleads guilty to contempt charge​

- Dan Gartland

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