After the New England Patriots decided to draft Michael Buchanan and Jamie Collins, I am far less sure that the team will decide to add a veteran pass rusher. However, they could inject an established vet to help ease the rookie transition, as well as generally give this team a better pass rush. Dwight Freeney and John Abraham are still on the market, and they still remain the best two options on the market. Although more reports have linked Freeney to the Patriots, the fact that Abraham is looking to be a full-time DE likely makes him a less attractive option to a Patriots team that has Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones starting with plenty of young depth at DE surrounding them. However, we cannot rule out the Patriots signing a DE, especially a guy like Dwight Freeney.
According to Adam Schefter, the San Diego Chargers will host Dwight Freeney on a free agent visit today, and this comes on the heels of the Chargers losing Melvin Ingram to the season for a torn ACL. The Chargers are in a prime position to overpay for Freeney’s services, and they probably don’t care that Freeney doesn’t play as well as a 3-4 OLB; he’s far better as a 4-3 DE, and he showed it last year with the Indianapolis Colts. But the Chargers are in a dire need for an upgrade to their pass rush, and they could very well pull the trigger and quickly get an upgrade in Freeney.
With all the suitors for Freeney and the news that the Chargers are working him out, it’s tough to see the Patriots paying the price it takes to add a guy like Freeney or Abraham. At this point in time, I think the Patriots will stand pat with what they have and watch for certain players to take bigger steps in 2013. Besides, they have a crowded situation at DE as it stands, and guys like Jermaine Cunningham are squarely on the chopping block.
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