The New England Patriots are looking for more defensive ends to add in order to bolster their pass rusher, which has been a weak point on their team over the past couple of seasons. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich form a solid DE duo, but both of them play far too many snaps due to a dire lack of credible options behind them. The Patriots need an influx of talented pass-rushing defensive ends, especially since they need to give Ninko and Jones, who is a breakout candidate next year after making some more strides last season, more breaks.
ESPN’s John Clayton reported earlier today that former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith is visiting the New England Patriots today, and this comes via a tweet from colleague Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. Reiss always has lockdown coverage on all things Pats, and he actually suggested the possibility of Smith signing with the Patriots back in the middle of February. Now that’s a darn good call.
Smith is 32, but the Patriots are most likely looking for a veteran pass rusher to add after trying hard to develop young talent behind Ninko and Jones. They drafted Michael Buchanan last year after he slipped a few rounds into the seventh, and they are still waiting on 2012 draft pick (same class as Jones) Jake Bequette to develop. Smith hasn’t been productive in several years, but there’s no risk in signing a reclamation project who could bounce back and give the Patriots pass rush some solid upside as a No. 3 DE. The Seattle Seahawks were also linked to Smith at one point, but they weren’t significantly interested. Both teams were also linked to Jared Allen, but he decided to sign with the Chicago Bears to join fellow offseason additions Lamarr Houston and Willie Young on a revamped DL.