One of the biggest holes on the New England Patriots' roster right now is at offensive tackle: After the long-time starter left the team via free agency, the team now lacks a clear-cut starter to protect Tom Brady's blindside. The Patriots are therefore expected to see a fierce competition for practice reps and playing time over the course of the summer – especially considering that they might add more tackles via draft and free agency later this week.
Speaking of free agency, the team went back to the open market today to bring more offensive tackle depth on board. According to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, the team has signed veteran Ulrick John:
Patriots agree to term with former Packers OL Ulrick John, according to a league source
John originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round selection by the Indianapolis Colts in 2014. After spending his rookie campaign on injured reserve, the Georgia State product was signed by the Miami Dolphins off Indianapolis' practice squad. John saw his first in-game action with the Patriots' AFC East rivals but couldn't find a permanent home with the team as he spent the next two years with the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers.
Overall, the 6'5, 305 lbs lineman appeared in 10 NFL games over his four-year pro career, starting three. He is not expected to add any more to his résumé in New England. Despite losing Solder to the New York Giants last month, the team has plenty of options at the position with Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle and Antonio Garcia the projected top three options. And while John could earn a backup spot behind them, it appears more likely that he will predominately serve as a camp body.