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Opinion on Gregory deal

The Patriots and safety Steve Gregory have agreed to terms on a three-year deal that averages between $2-3 million per season.

The feeling here is that this is one step toward addressing a position that was a trouble spot for the team for long stretches of 2011. It wouldn't be a surprise if there are more moves at the position -- in free agency and/or the draft.

Bill Belichick wasn't pleased with what he had at safety in 2011 training camp, as evidenced by his decision to release veterans Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders. He kept tinkering with the personnel there throughout the year, which included moving cornerback Devin McCourty there in sub packages in the regular-season finale and playoffs.

The Gregory agreement, coupled with the reported weekend visit of LaRon Landry (credit: Boston Herald), seems to signal the thinking that McCourty is better off staying at cornerback.

Gregory, at the least, figures to contribute in sub packages and on special teams. He has starting experience, smarts and versatility, so it's not out of the question that he plays alongside sure-fire starter Patrick Chung.

This isn't a bank-breaking signing, but at a position of need, Gregory should contribute and help the Patriots improve their performance at the safety spot in 2012.