Monday, October 14, 2013
Patriots have two D-linemen in for tryouts
By Field Yates
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots had free-agent defensive linemen George Johnson (Rutgers) and Frank Kearse (Alabama A&M) in for tryouts, according to a league source.
Johnson, a third-year veteran who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, has been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-12) and Minnesota Vikings (2012-13). He has played in 11 career games and was released by the Vikings last week.
Kearse, at 6-5 and 310 pounds, projects to defensive tackle in the Patriots system. He spent the last two-plus seasons with the Carolina Panthers, appearing in 14 games (8 starts), and was waived/injured by the club at the end of the 2013 preseason (knee).
The Patriots are thin at defensive tackle, having lost Vince Wilfork to a season-ending Achilles injury and with veteran Tommy Kelly (right knee) missing Sunday's win over the Saints. Rookies Joe Vellano and Chris Jones, along with first-year player Marcus Forston, are the next players on the depth chart.
The team signed veteran four-year veteran Andre Neblett last Wednesday, but he was waived on Saturday in favor of Forston. Neblett cleared waivers today and is free to sign with any team.