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Patriots sign safety Adrian Wilson

The Patriots signed veteran safety Adrian Wilson on Friday to shore up the team's secondary.

Christian Petersen

Long-time Arizona Cardinal safety Adrian Wilson signed with the New England Patriots on Friday as a free agent, according to Albert Breer.

Wilson was the Cardinals' third-round pick in the 2001 NFL draft out of North Carolina State. The five-time Pro Bowl strong safety and four-time All-Pro has made 893 tackles in his 12 year career as well as 25.5 sacks, 27 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and he broke up another 87 passes.

Wilson is big for a safety, standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 230 pounds, but he has good top-end speed and is effective in pass coverage. However, since he's lost a step or two in his career that has spanned more than a decade, he's better in run support than in pass coverage now. He takes good angles in coverage, though, and can be an explosive tackler.

The Patriots had the fourth worst pass defense in 2012 and bringing in a veteran safety like Wilson should help shore up the secondary as well as improve the team's run defense. Wilson has been extremely durable over the last five years, missing only two games, and only had one season in which he missed a substantial amount of games, which was in 2007.

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