The Patriots had former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder in for a physical on Thursday, ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton reports. Clayton noted that "it is too early to tell if they will make him an offer."
Crowder, who entered the league as a third-round pick of the Dolphins in 2005, has played in 82 regular-season games with 74 starts.
The Patriots have been doing their due diligence on a number of free agents, which is standard operating procedure. Crowder's skill set would fit alongside the likes of linebackers Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher on the team's roster.
At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, he would project to inside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment. If the Patriots were showing a more traditional 4-3 look, Crowder would probably fit best in the middle, where Spikes has been lining up.