Patriots Close to Signing FB Tony Fiammetta

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 17: Fullback Tony Fiammetta #24 of the Dallas Cowboys stretches during warmups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 17, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

According to Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe, the New England Patriots are close to signing free agent fullback Tony Fiammetta, and are working on finalizing the contract details.

Fiammettta, 25, is entering his fourth year in the league in after being drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Syracuse University.

Having attended Syracuse University during Fiammetta's time there, I can tell you that Fiammetta embodies a lot of the qualities that the Patriots look for in their players. At 6' and 242 lbs, Fiammetta is a true blocking fullback. While he occasionally can carry the ball in short yardage situations or catch a pass out of the backfield, he was best known at Syracuse for his role as a blocker. That being said, Fiammetta also had a big presence on special teams, and was a team leader, having been recognized as a captain.

Fiammetta spent his first two years in the league with the Panthers, followed by a one year stint with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. On his career, Fiammetta has played in 34 games (17 starts) and recorded 11 carries for 26 yards as well as eight receptions for 73 yards.

Fiammetta joins a trio of fullbacks on the Patriots roster that includes Lousaka Polite and the recently signed Spencer Larsen (as well as Eric Kettani, who was recently activated off the reserve/military list). For the first time in quite a while, the Patriots will have some serious competition at the fullback position in training camp. Perhaps the Patriots see the fullback taking on a increased role in their offense in 2012. If that's the case, you won't see any complaints from me.

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