As the Patriots put the finishing touches on their 2010 training camp roster, the team has brought back a veteran that they used third and fifth round picks to acquire just last August.
Earlier this morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots have re-signed free agent defensive end/outside linebacker Derrick Burgess to a one year contract. While Burgess was hoping to have a big year with the Patriots and then cash in with a big free agent deal, it never turned out that way for Burgess, who recorded back to back double digit sack season for the Raiders in 2005 and 2006.
Still, this is a solid signing for the Patriots. Burgess adds a more experienced pass rusher to the Patriots' outside linebacker group. While Burgess, (according to profootballfocus.com) only dropped back in coverage eight times last season, he seemed to get more comfortable as the season wore on, coming up with three sacks in the final four games, looking a lot more effective on his pass rush while doing it.
While I don't expect Burgess to be an every down defender for the Patriots in 2010, I think he can come in and be an affective nickel rusher/spare outside linebacker, seeing 20-30 snaps per game. If he can continue in the track that he closed 2009 on, he could bring a nice veteran presence to the outside linebacker position, as the Patriots work in a guy like Jermaine Cunningham.
While Burgess probably wasn't plan a, I really liked what I saw down the stretch last season, and I think Burgess can improve on that in 2010.