The Patriots have made one of their first moves in free agency by signing former Bengals defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene to a three year deal (according to @RavensInsider). Fanene is 29 (will turn 30 on March 19th) and stands at 6-4, 292 lbs. He was drafted by the Bengals in the 7th round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Fanene adds another rotational body on the Patriots defensive front. He played a mixture of defensive tackle and defensive end, which allows him to play multiple packages. Although he was injured in 2010 and missed most of the season, he's posted 6 sacks in 2009 and 2011, which means he could potentially add some value as a pass rusher.
According to Pro Football Focus, Fanene is a very balanced player in both the run and pass defense. He has shown ability to reach the quarterback, but he must work on applying more consistent pressure. He has been very positive in run defense and is able to break-up plays.
I expected Fanene to fit well in the rotation, playing a similar role to what defensive tackle Gerard Warren has been playing the past couple of seasons- a capable body who can make plays, but shouldn't be expected to revolutionize the defensive front.
Fanene is a solid pick-up as the Patriots look to bolster their defensive line.