One of the biggest positions of need on the New England Patriots’ current roster is defensive tackle: with Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton both having hit unrestricted free agency on Wednesday, the team is in need for reinforcements at the position either in the form of the two ex-Patriots or via outside hires. Among the latter group appears to be former Kansas City Chiefs defender Allen Bailey.
Bailey spent the first eight years of his pro career with the AFC’s runner-ups and will visit New England later today, according to a report by Pro Football Talk. Listed as one of our potential free agency targets for the reigning world champions earlier this week, the veteran could help fill the void of potential departures by either Brown or Shelton as an experienced and potentially low-cost alternative.
While Bailey was used as a bit differently in Kansas City’s three-man front — he played primarily in 3-technique and 5-technique alignments — as Brown or Shelton were in New England, he could bring a solid interior presence to the table as a versatile defender that looked solid against the run and the pass in the past. In 2018, for example, Bailey was an integral part of the Chiefs’ league-leading pass rush: playing 72.1% of the club’s defensive snaps, the veteran registered 6.0 sacks from the defensive tackle spot.
That being said, adding Pro Football Focus’ 91st ranked interior defender (Brown ranked 85th, Shelton 27th) to a group currently consisting of only Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler would not entirely fill the Patriots’ need at defensive tackle given: the former third-round pick will turn 30 later this month, which means New England might also look at other channels to add to its interior line.
The Patriots are also bringing another play in for a visit today: according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, former Denver Broncos tight end Matt LaCosse will meet with the team today. The 26-year-old, who entered the league as as an undrafted rookie signing by the New York Giants in 2015, played 38.9% of the Broncos’ offensive snaps last season. As the number two tight end, he caught 24 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown.
LaCosse, who also played 22.9% of Denver’s special teams snaps, is primarily a blocking tight end and could help fill the void created when New England cut Dwayne Allen before the start of free agency. He entered the open market after the Broncos decided against tendering the restricted free agent.