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Dominique Easley goes unclaimed, becomes free agent

Defensive lineman Dominique Easley had a hard time staying on the field in his two seasons with the Patriots.FILE/Jim Davis/Globe staff/Globe Staff

The Patriots didn’t want Dominique Easley at a relatively low price of $1.08 million, and neither did any of the 31 other teams.

Easley, the Patriots’ former first-round pick who was suddenly released on Wednesday, went unclaimed on waivers on Thursday, making him a free agent.

The Patriots will be on the hook for Easley’s fully guaranteed 2016 salary of $1.08 million unless Easley signs with another team. His contract contained offset language, so if Easley signs for $800,000 with another team, the Patriots only owe the balance of the contract.

The Patriots did not provide a reason for why they released Easley, 24, just two seasons after drafting him 29th overall. Several league sources told the Globe on Wednesday that Easley was unreliable, did not buy into the Patriots’ rehab program, was difficult for the coaches, had off-field issues, and has questionable knees.

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The Patriots re-signed running back Tyler Gaffney after releasing the 6-foot, 220-pounder on Monday. He has yet to play in two seasons after suffering knee injuries in back-to-back training camps, one with the Panthers and one with the Patriots . . . Former greats Raymond Clayborn, Kevin Faulk, and Mike Vrabel were named finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame. Fans can vote at patriots.com. Voting ends May 14.


Jim McBride of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin