I figured the Patriots would use a flooded veteran free-agent market to their advantage at some point, and now it’s starting to happen.
After signing Leon Washington on Thursday, the Patriots are hosting Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney in addition to Falcons defensive end John Abraham and Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson on Friday. according to league sources. Tom Curran of CSNNE.com first reported the Freeney visit.
Analysis: End and safety were both spots that we targeted for veteran competition at the least. Figure the Patriots to sign one end. Abraham (6-4, 263) is much closer to what the Patriots look for at end compared to Freeney (6-1, 268), but the Patriots have great respect for the former Colt. Abraham, who will be 35 in May, is a year older. Both would probably be looked at as situational pass rushers to get in a rotation with Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich. The Patriots had nothing at defensive end when Jones got hurt midway through the season, and especially when he couldn’t play in the AFC Championship game. They can’t let that happen again.
Wilson, 33, is a tough, durable and smart safety. He has 27 interceptions and 87 passes defensed in 13 seasons. The Patriots like Devin McCourty and Tavon Wilson at safety, but Adrian Wilson would give them options. Most of it would be sorted out in training camp -- no matter what veteran safety they bring in -- depending on health, but Wilson could allow McCourty to go back to corner, or keep Tavon Wilson on the bench.
Expect the Patriots to sign a lot of veterans on one-year deals, and then they’ll see how the pieces fit in training camp. Remember, there are 90-man rosters. Long ways to go.