Veteran defensive lineman Gerard Warren has been a quality value signing for the Patriots in each of the last two years. He's hoping to make it three straight years, but as noted by colleague Mike Rodak, the 33-year-old Warren is among a group of players who would be considered on the roster bubble.
Earlier this week, Warren held his annual Florida-based football camp, along with Bills running back C.J. Spiller, and the Gainesville Sun was there. One topic of discussion was how much longer Warren hopes to play.
"As many years as possible, it is a blessing to be in the NFL for 11 years," Warren said. “As long as I can go, as long as a coach and a team or an organization can see me being productive and helping their organization, then I am willing to go out and put in the work and the effort and to come out and play."
The Patriots have earned a reputation as a team that finds good value on the free-agent market, and in recent years, Warren is one of the first players to come to mind in this regard.
In 2010, he signed a modest one-year contract with a $900,000 base salary and $40,000 signing bonus. He ended up playing a key role, filling the left defensive end void (in the 3-4) when Ty Warren was lost in training camp to a season-ending hip injury. He played 45.9 percent of the snaps, and was one of the club's underrated performers that year.
Last season, Warren was cut before the first game, and later was re-signed to another one-year deal. With the Patriots changing to more of a 4-3 defense, Warren was utilized as a defensive tackle (mostly in sub), and was disruptive at times. He finished the season playing 27.2 percent of the snaps. In addition to his work on the field, his class after the team's devastating Super Bowl loss was notable.
This year, Warren is back on another modest one-year deal ($925,000 base salary, $50,000 signing bonus), hoping to once again prove to be one of the club's value performers.