Pats release veteran linebacker Colvin, youngster Lua

It was a big coup when the Patriots signed Rosevelt Colvin, but that era has come to a close.

New England released the linebacker on Tuesday. Drafted by the Bears out of Purdue in 1999, Colvin spent his first four seasons in Chicago and established himself as a pass-rushing threat from his outside linebacker position. He registered 10 sacks in both 2001 and 2002.

The Patriots signed the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Colvin as an unrestricted free agent in 2003. He had two sacks in his first two games that season before suffering a hip injury. While he never returned to his original form, Colvin did bounce back to lead the Patriots with seven sacks in 2005 and 8 sacks in 2006.

His 52 career sacks rank fifth among active NFL linebackers.

Last season, Colvin started 10 of his first 11 games before being shut down with a foot injury.

The Patriots also released linebacker Oscar Lua on Tuesday. He missed last season, his first, with a knee injury.