Andrew Weber-US Presswire

New England Patriots work out four defenders

Per Tom E. Curran of CSNNE, the New England Patriots worked out four defensive players yesterday in former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Brian Rolle, former Cleveland Browns defensive end Marcus Benard, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Tim Crowder, and former Browns LB Quinton Spears.

Crowder, 27, was released by the Bucs this offseason after a subpar season in which he ended up getting placed on the injured reserve. He was a solid part of the Bucs rotation a couple of years ago, but it is unclear as to how much Crowder could contribute to this team.

Brian Rolle is a young player with some promise, and he spent his rookie season last year with the Philadelphia Eagles but was released last month. That’s just how bad he has been lately, as Rolle went from being a starter to being a special teamer. He can’t play the run well and is undersized, but maybe the Pats can make him a sub-package coverage LB. Maybe. But man, he has had a brutal start to his career and is mainly a special teamer at this point. Even then, he’s much worse at special teams than what the Pats currently have.

Quinton Spears is 24 and was an undrafted rookie out of Prairie View A&M. He was raw in college and has an AFC East pedigree after a stint with the Miami Dolphins practice squad.

Marcus Benard was released by the Browns after dislocating his elbow in the preseason, and he was released from the injured reserve on an injury settlement. The 27-year-old has since been worked out by the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, but he hasn’t played since October of last year.

Even so, Benard is clearly the best player of everybody on this list as he actually has a pedigree. Benard was a good pass rusher for the Browns and has 12 sacks in 25 games as a situational pass rusher during his career.

1. Benard

2. Crowder

3. Rolle

4. Spears

That’s how I would rank these four players.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Brian Rolle Marcus Benard New England Patriots Quinton Spears Tim Crowder

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