Source: Fanene agrees to terms

March, 14, 2012
Former Bengals defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene agreed to terms with the New England Patriots on a three-year contract worth close to $12 million, according to a source. The deal included a $3.85 million signing bonus, the source said.

Fanene, who will turn 30 next week, is a Utah product and a native of American Samoa. Drafted in the seventh round in 2005 by Cincinnati, Fanene has played in 71 games in seven seasons with the Bengals, making 17 starts.

At 6-foot-4 and 292 pounds, Fanene has some position versatility, playing both at end and tackle in the Bengals' 4-3 defense. He recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks last season, playing in all 16 games (two starts). Making 10 starts in 2009, he posted a career-high 36 tackles and six sacks.

With some thin spots along the Patriots' defensive line, Fanene was a player to monitor heading into free agency. In New England, he projects to have a role as an interior pass rusher, but he could also compete with Super Bowl XLVI starter Brandon Deaderick for playing time at defensive end on early downs.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter



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