According to Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have agreed to terms with former Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly. While the exact details of the contracts have not been released, reports have the Patriots inking a 2 year deal.
Kelly, 32, recorded just 45 tackles and one sack in Oakland last season, although he did start all 16 games. He appeared to be in the Raiders future plans until they released him towards the very end of March, as he was owed $6.5 million is 2013 and simply wasn't producing enough to warrant that kind of cap hit.The fact that the Patriots snapped him up so quickly, and for two years, suggests that the Patriots could see Kelly as more than just a camp body. Kelly is a big guy at 6'6", 300 lbs and has the ability to play end in a 3-4 scheme if necessary. He was an absolute beast next to Richard Seymour in 2010-2011, notching 14.5 sacks of the course of those two years. While he struggled to get to the quarterback last year, he has yet to miss a game in five years and, if he still has something left in the tank, could make for a fantastic addition to New England's defensive line. He is the kind of blocker-eating, first-push getting lineman that should open up a lot of holes for the Patriots' strong linebacking corps. Kelly and Vince Wilfork on the interior line has the potential to be a complete nightmare for opposing offensive lineman if he can find a way to return to form.
Kelly definitely isn't the answer to the team's pass rush woes, and he likely won't be much more than a situational starter. However, this is a good depth move that will likely be made better once the final details of the contract emerge.