ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Patriots have re-signed DE/OLB Derrick Burgess to a one-year deal. Last season, the Pats traded third- and fifth-round picks to the Raiders for Burgess, and to say he underperformed would be an understatement. He played in all 16 games but had only 6 starts at a thin position, totalling only 35 tackles 5 sacks. In his defense, he was transitioning to a new team, system, and position, so that may have hurt his numbers. Perhaps the Pats are thinking that with a year in the system, he will be able to be more productive.
The depth at outside linebacker, the thinnest position on the team, looks like this:
- Tully Banta-Cain, #95
- Derrick Burgess, #53 (assuming he keeps the number he had last year)
- Pierre Woods, #58
- Gary Guyton, #59 (listed as an OLB in Patriots Football Weekly)
- Rob Ninkovich, #50
- Shawn Crable, #98
- Jermain Cunningham, #96 (rookie)
- Marques Murrell, #93
If the Pats are still looking to add some veteran depth, aside from any trades, Chike Okeafor and Greg Ellis remain unsigned. Both have experience playing OLB in the 3-4, with Ellis probably being the best option.