Patriots to release center Bryan Stork, WR Nate Washington

— -- FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are releasing former starting center Bryan Stork, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

The move comes as a mild surprise even as Stork was losing his hold on the top spot of the depth chart to second-year blocker David Andrews. The NFL Network first reported Stork's impending release.

The Patriots are also releasing veteran wide receiver Nate Washington, according to ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates.

Stork, who was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, played in 25 games for the club, including the playoffs, over the past two seasons (21 starts). He sustained multiple concussions over that time, opening the 2015 season on the injured reserve list because of a concussion.

"It's tough," said QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who was picked by the Patriots in the same draft class as Stork. "It's that time of year. There's a lot of movement between teams and players and everything. It's tough to see one of your guys go like that. That's the business, I guess."

With Stork sidelined at the start of last season, Andrews, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia, started the first 10 games of the season and performed well before Stork returned as the starter.

Under returning offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, the two entered 2016 spring practices in an open competition for the job, with Stork taking top repetitions one day, and Andrews getting those reps the next day. That continued into the early days of training camp, but Andrews has has a hold on the top spot since Stork was knocked out of practice on the third day due to a reported concussion and missed a week.

Stork was also thrown out of a joint practice with the Chicago Bears on Aug. 16. He upset coach Bill Belichick after wildly throwing punches, which didn't connect, at Bears linebacker John Timu.

When Belichick was asked about the center position Friday, he called it a "good competitive situation."

Washington, who has 458 career receptions over 10 seasons with the Steelers, Titans and Texans, was a longshot to make the Patriots' roster out of camp. He signed a one-year, $1.065 million contract with the Patriots this offseason, but only $60,000 was guaranteed.