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Patriots Free Agents 2012: James Ihedigbo

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Over the next two weeks, we'll be looking at each Patriots free agent and projecting whether or not they will re-sign with the Patriots this offseason;

James Ihedigbo

Age: 28

Position: Safety

Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

2011 Stats: 16 games played, 12 games started, 69 total tackles, 1 pass defensed

Overview: When the Patriots first signed Ihedigbo in August, the thought was that he had the chance to compete for a roster spot in a special teams role. Because of injuries and other personnel moves, Ihedigbo got forced into the starting lineup early on and ended up being a pleasant surprise. Ihedigbo ended up finishing fourth on the team in solo tackles, and also picked up 20 tackles and a sack in the playoffs. While Ihedigbo put together a solid for the Patriots in 2011, the team will know not to overpay for him, as he has his limits. Ihedigbo is very good against the run and is also a good blitzing safety. However, he can be a liability in coverage, which means that he's only a two down player. The Patriots will likely want to bring him back, and I see him wanting to return as well, probably along the lines of a two year deal.

Prediction: Re-signs on 2 year, $2.9 million deal