The New England Patriots have not made a personnel move over the course of the last week. Since the team placed a seldom-used tender on unrestricted free agent running back LeGarrette Blount, all was quiet on the transactions front. And while nothing has changed, the Patriots might have someone on their radar to bring aboard.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported yesterday that the reigning world champions have invited veteran linebacker Gerald Hodges to a visit:
Former Vikings and 49ers' LB Gerald Hodges visited Colts today, scheduled to visit Patriots tomorrow, Jaguars on Thursday, per source.
Hodges entered the NFL as a fourth round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2013. During his rookie campaign, he was used almost exclusively as a special teamer but was able to expand his role the following year. Overall, the Penn State product would go on to appear in 29 games for Minnesota – starting 10 at middle linebacker – while registering 90 tackles, 0.5 sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown.
During the 2015 season, the Vikings traded Hodges to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a sixth round pick and backup center Nick Easton. In San Francisco, he continued to serve as a rotational linebacker and part-time starter: Hodges appeared in 29 games and registered 129 tackles, 3.0 sacks and two interceptions.
If visiting the Patriots indeed leads to him signing a free agency contract, Hodges would be in a solid position to earn a roster spot. Dont’a Hightower is a lock to make the team with Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy and Shea McClellin all having very good chances. Behind the four, though, one or possibly even two roster spots might be available – and maybe Hodges will ultimately be a player to fill it.