Saturday, March 23, 2013
Vollmer, Abraham & NFL impact
By Mike Reiss
In his work for ESPN.com's Insider, colleague Field Yates lists five available free agents who could help shift power and there are two Patriots ties in the piece.
First, Yates explains why right tackle Sebastian Vollmer could help the Eagles. He lists Vollmer in the No. 3 spot in terms of impact.
"Philadelphia would receive a major upgrade to the blind side of quarterback Michael Vick if Vollmer were added," he writes. "He's a big, powerful, athletic and intelligent player who thrived in four seasons with the Patriots. Pushing the tempo on offense isn't easy for all linemen, and the Eagles are expected to move at a pace that mirrors what head coach Chip Kelly ran at Oregon. Vollmer happens to have experience at a similar offensive pace in New England, as the Patriots ran more plays than any other team in 2012."
Meanwhile, Yates thinks signing veteran defensive end John Abraham could spark the Patriots' pass rush, which remains one of the team's goals at this point.
"Abraham isn't an every-down defensive lineman anymore, but the Patriots were in their sub defense for 57 percent of their defensive snaps in 2012, which is exactly where Abraham would fit in," Yates writes. "He's the NFL's active leader in career sacks with 122, including 10 in 2013. In a niche role as a pass-rusher who could also aid in the development of Jones, Abraham and the Patriots is a sensible marriage."