The New England Patriots’ defensive line looked good against the Baltimore Ravens and their high-powered running game on Sunday night, but the team is apparently still looking at options to potentially bolster the depth up front. One of those options appears to be defensive tackle Akeem Spence: according to the NFL’s transactions wire, the Patriots had Spence in town for a visit on Tuesday.
Spence is a veteran of seven seasons in the league after joining it as a fourth-round draft selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. The 6-foot-1, 300-pound defender spent four years in Tampa Bay before stints with the Detroit Lions (2017) and Miami Dolphins (2018). Most recently, he split the 2019 campaign between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
All in all, Spence has appeared in a combined 103 regular season games so far in his career. He has registered 10.5 sacks and 195 tackles along the way, while primarily lining up on the interior defensive line. However, the 28-year-old has been without a club since his contract with the Jaguars expired at the start of the 2020 league year.
The Patriots currently have six interior defensive linemen on their 53-man roster: Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler are atop the depth chart with Deatrich Wise Jr, Byron Cowart, Carl Davis and Isaiah Mack offering rotational depth alongside them. New England also has rookie Bill Murray on its practice squad, plus the option of bringing back free agent Nick Thurman after he appeared in six games earlier this year.
Spence is not the only free agent the Patriots recently have shown some interest in. Just last Friday, they had four offensive linemen — Zack Bailey, Sam Jones, Timon Parris, Ross Reynolds — in town for workouts. No follow-up moves have been made on either front, but the team is at least keeping its emergency lists updated.