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New England Patriots Links 3/02/11 - Patriots Sign DL Marcus Stroud; Brandon McGowan Ready To Play

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Mike Reiss takes a closer look at Marcus Stroud's potential role with the Patriots.

Free-agent defensive lineman Marcus Stroud, who agreed to a two-year deal with the Patriots (according to ESPN's Adam Schefter), projects to a similar role that Gerard Warren played for the Patriots in 2010.

The 32-year-old Stroud, entering his 11th NFL season, is no longer a full-time player. He's likely to compete for playing time on first and second down, from the defensive end spot in the team's base 3-4 alignment.

One pro personnel director described Stroud as a player near the end of the line, but pointed out that the Patriots have traditionally done a good job of getting one or two more years out of those in the latter stages of their career.

Stroud, who was viewed as playing at a higher level than John Henderson (who just re-signed with Oakland), is 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. He is tall and often plays upright (he's not a natural bender), so his primary value figures to be against the run.

Shalise Manza Young reports that after sitting out last season with a torn pectoral, Brandon McGowan is ready to get back on the field and play.

McGowan spent this morning at Monument High in South Boston as part of the NFL's Fuel Up to Play60 program, talking to students about the importance of good nutrition and getting enough exercise every day. He shared his own past, when he preferred McDonald's and Burger King to healthier fare, to now when he drinks wheatgrass and ginger as part of his health regimen.

In terms of his rehab, McGowan said he'd be ready to play football were training camp to start tomorrow, and that he's feeling good.

He did not know if there have been negotiations between his agent and the Pats to keep him in New England, but he would welcome a return.

"I love the've got great coaching, and you've got great players," he said.


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