The New England Patriots are always looking to boost the back-end of their roster down the final stretch of the season and they’re looking under every rock. They added former Buffalo Bills practice squad defensive lineman Eric Lee and street free agent wide receiver Kenny Britt, and re-signed veteran defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois and (temporarily) linebacker Jonathan Freeny.
They’ve also looked to the Oakland Raiders practice squad at defensive lineman Fadol Brown, along with a few other teams according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Raiders defensive end Fadol Brown spoke on the phone this week with John Dorsey, the Cleveland Browns’ new general manager,” Michael Gehlken reports. “The New England Patriots reached out Thursday morning to express interest. The Houston Texans have been in touch, too.”
“‘I don’t think I’m going to be here next week, to be honest,’ [Brown] said.”
The 6’4, 275 pound Brown spent his college years at Florida International and Ole Miss, racking up 18 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, with “40% of his tackles over the last two years...on gains of two yards or less.” He was more of a stout run defender than a pass rusher and projected to be of a similar mold as Adam Butler.
This interest was before Alan Branch suffered an injury against the Miami Dolphins and the subsequent additions of Ricky Jean-Francois and Kenny Britt, so perhaps the Patriots interest has waned. But if Branch were healthy, maybe New England would have rathered Brown take Jonathan Freeny’s old spot instead of Jean-Francois, or led the Patriots to move Geneo Grissom back to the practice squad.