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Sunday, September 4, 2011
Rapid Reaction: OG Brian Waters

By Mike Reiss

When looking at the Patriots' contract agreement with free-agent offensive guard Brian Waters, two thoughts come to mind:

1. This is making the best of a situation that is not ideal for the team. The Patriots had a run of injuries at right guard with their top three players (Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Rich Ohrnberger) and needed immediate NFL-ready help. Waters, who played all 16 regular-season games last season, was the best option on the market. The Patriots were hoping to stay in-house but health (and perhaps performance) have led them to Waters. It wouldn't be surprising if Waters starts Week 1. He might be their best option even when all are healthy.

2. The Patriots will have to make a roster move to create space for Waters, so who goes? A top candidate could be rookie free agent linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (injured reserve?). The Patriots also are six-deep at cornerback, with Darius Butler a possibility to be moved.
Those are the two players who come to mind.