Colchester boss John Ward has told Medy Elito, Sam Corcoran and Morten Knudsen they will be let go at the end of the season.
Winger Elito spent much of this campaign on loan at Dagenham and Cheltenham, while midfielder Corcoran had a spell with non-league Lowestoft Town.
Norwegian defender Knudsen has been a major disappointment after he was signed by Aidy Boothroyd in January 2010, only to suffer a serious knee injury which meant he did not manage a single appearance for the club.
"I've sat down and spoken to them and said they can go and chat to other clubs," said Ward.
"I have to admit I don't like that part of the job because it is something that affects their livelihoods and careers. But you just have to be straight up and say it as it is.
"These lads might go somewhere and prove me wrong and, if they manage to do that, I would pick up the phone and wish them well for the future."