Even though Patriots minicamp was abuzz about the selection of safety Patrick Chung in the second round, coach Bill Belichick was still looking for the type of hard-hitting veteran safety he lost last season with the season-ending injury to Rodney Harrison. Belichick's job description impressed McGowan enough that he was willing to agree to a two-year deal.
At the age of 25, McGowan was one of the youngest experienced safeties on the market.
An undrafted free agent from Maine who made the Bears roster in 2005, McGowan started three games as a rookie. His best season was 2007 when he started nine games, had 68 total tackles and intercepted two passes.
An ankle injury forced McGowan to miss most of last season with the Bears.
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.