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Patriots Close to Signing LB/FB Spencer Larsen

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According to Adam Caplan, the Patriots are close to a two year deal with linebacker and fullback Spencer Larsen. Larsen was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 6th round of the 2008 draft. Larsen is 28 and stands at 6-2, 245 lbs.

Larsen played middle linebacker for the Broncos his rookie season and, according to Pro Football Focus, was extremely stout against the run. In 2009, his first year with Patriots current offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, he played both reserve linebacker and fullback. In 2010 and 2011, Larsen developed as a full-time fullback.

According to PFF, Larsen is not very good at blocking in the run game, but is marginal and improving at blocking in the passing game. Larsen is an extremely solid receiver, having caught 14 of the 14 balls thrown his way during his NFL career. Expect Larsen to assume the fullback role that tight end Aaron Hernandez took on towards the end of the season, as Larsen is a positive ball carrier.

Larsen has the versatility that Bill Belichick loves and, probably, Josh McDaniels asked for. Hernandez was used in some running schemes at the end of the year and adding a versatile player like Larsen frees Hernandez up to be a tight end and can make the offense more dangerous.

While the two-year deal is a positive sign (I feel like it definitely ends the reign of Lousaka Polite), I feel like it may just be to spread the signing bonus across multiple seasons.