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Rumor: Patriots Have "Strong Interest" in Aaron Schobel

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According to Mike Giardi of CSNNE.com, the Patriots reportedly have a "strong interest" in free agent pass rusher Aaron Schobel:

In case you missed it: source says #Patriots have "strong" interest in Aaron Schobel. But this is no Seau situation. He wants big $.

To no one's surprise, the Patriots are pursuing the top veteran pass rusher on the market, who has also caused the teams fits over the years.  It appears that the issue could be money with Schobel, as he was due a big pay day in Buffalo.

Getting Schobel, who is certainly still capable of putting up double digit sack numbers, would be huge for the Patriots.  While he has 3-4 outside linebacker size (6-4, 243), he would initially work in as a nickel/sub-package rusher for the Patriots off the edge.  Like Derrick Burgess, as the season wore on, he could develop a slightly more traditional outside linebacker role for the Patriots.

Although the Patriots are interested in Schobel, I wouldn't expect anything to happen with him anytime soon.  Schobel, who recently moved his family to Texas, appears to be leaning towards the Texans at this point.  While I wouldn't rule out Schobel signing with the Pats, I just wouldn't count on it from a Patriots perspective.  Also, as previously mentioned, there is the money issue.  How much will the Patriots fork over to the 32-year-old?  Is five million too much?

For more on Schobel, check out articles from Mike Dussault of Pats Pulpit and Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com.