New England Patriots helmet rests on the side line during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots sign Andre Neblett

The New England Patriots have decided to add a defensive tackle, following their first game without star Vince Wilfork, and they chose Andre Neblett as the new man to add as depth at the position. The signing of Neblett is an indication that Tommy Kelly may have suffered a significant injury against the Cincinnati Bengals, but I still think he plays this week against the New Orleans Saints. Joe Vellano was asked to step in for Wilfork for a full game, and he had an extremely rough outing overall. He’s a decent player, but the New England Patriots could afford to get deeper at DT and decided that it’s the best move for them.

Andre Neblett is 25, and he has never played in a game for a team other than the Carolina Panthers, where he played for three seasons from 2010 to 2012. In 12 games with the Panthers in 2011 (his season of the most significance), Neblett recorded 23 tackles with 2.5 sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries. At this point in time, Neblett only qualifies as depth, and the Panthers decided that he was more of the problem than part of the solution at defensive tackle.

All Neblett will do for the New England Patriots is be a depth DT, but it’s a solid move if the Patriots felt that depth was needed. Some of that hinges on Kelly’s health, but it could also be an indication that the Patriots are not impressed with Vellano, Remember this as well, Armond Armstead is set to return from the NFI in Week 7, and Neblett could be released at that point in time.

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Tags: Andre Neblett New England Patriots Transactions

  • Hal Bent

    Good stuff, as always, Boss. :)
    With Wilfork out for the season and a HUGE cap number next season, does Belichick use the rest of the season to try out the defense without Wilfork in the middle going forward? Adding a couple low-cost veterans and bringing more “Joe Vellano”-type pass rushing DTs may be the way to go. With the emphasis on the passing game in the NFL, is there any value with big, run-stuffing, limited pass-rush tackles like Wilfork? Cutting Wilfork saves them the entire charge on Hernandez next season, just as an FYI

    • Joe Soriano

      There definitely is value in having a guy like Wilfork, because they do make a difference in the passing game by plugging up holes. If you watch Wilfork closely, I think you’ll find that he has an uncanny ability to disengage from defensive players and break up passes. Run-stuffing DTs still have huge value in this league, just watch the 2009-2012 Carolina Panthers run defenses haha.