Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Quick hits on free-agent trail
By Mike Reiss
Quick hits on the free-agent trail as they relate to the Patriots:
1. Dolphins defensive end Kendall Langford is scheduled to visit the Bengals, and as initially noted by Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, he also could be a target of the Patriots. Langford was a Bill Parcells draft pick (3rd round, 2008, Hampton) so it makes sense that New England would identify him as a free agent of interest. He's 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds, which is good size for the team's scheme. Langford hasn't missed a game over his first four seasons. In terms of style of play, he reminds me a bit of current Patriots defensive end Brandon Deaderick and former Patriots end Ty Warren -- LDE in the 3-4 or DT in the 4-3.
2. Also in that defensive line market, as suspected from a few weeks ago, Bengals defensive end Jonathan Fanene has shown up on the Patriots' radar as a free-agent to monitor. While a different type of player than Mark Anderson, Fanene is similar in that he has some good production in the pass rush in limited/part-time snaps (447 in 2011). It's always interesting to gauge the value of those types of players in free agency -- do they get a deal that reflects a full-time player, or more as a part-time option?
3. Interest in Langford and Fanene is tied to an internal view that adding to the defensive line is a high priority this offseason. That's not exactly a newsflash when looking at the current makeup of the position; outside of Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick, there are question marks (updated, 3:35 p.m. ET after Fanene signing).