With the official start of the 2012 NFL league year just over five hours away, and teams making final preparations for the free agent frenzy, we have another Patriots related rumor about a potential free agent target. Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald is reporting that the Patriots are ready to make a run for free agent defensive lineman Red Bryant:
A name for Patriots fans to remember on free agency morning? Seahawks DT Red Bryant. Heard Pats slated to make a play for him— Ian R. Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2012
Bryant is, from my perspective, a very intriguing player who hasn't exactly been on my radar but would be a great signing that could provide depth and starting potential for the Patriots defensive line. Bryant, 27, was drafted out of Texas A&M in the fourth round (127th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.
At 6'4" and 323 lbs, he's a big body who could likely start at any position along the Patriots' defensive line in the 3-4. His first couple of seasons with the Seahawks, he played mostly defensive tackle. However, under new head coach Pete Carroll, Bryant has been the team's starting left defensive end the past two seasons.
While he has just two sacks in 24 career starts, Bryant is more nimble than his size / numbers would indicate, and he also had 21 pressures while playing and starting all 16 games last season. He is also a force stuffing the run.
This rumor doesn't mean the Patriots will sign Bryant or anything like that, but at this point, Bryant definitely becomes a name to watch.