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Reports: Patriots sign DL Kelly

Posted Apr 9, 2013

New England adds a big veteran to the defensive line.

Late Monday, numerous media (NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was first) reported that the Patriots had signed veteran defensive lineman Tommy Kelly. The multiple reports indicated that the deal was for two years.

The 32-year-old had been with the Oakland Raiders the past nine years. Listed at 6-6, 325, he would provide a massive inside presence and could compete for a starting job alongside veteran leader Vince Wilfork. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has heaped significant praise upon Kelly in the past, going so far as to compare him to former Raiders legend Howie Long.

Kelly may be long in the tooth, but he has shown the ability to get to the quarterback even in recent seasons (7 and 7.5 sacks in 2010 and ’11, but just 1.5 a year ago). He’s also a durable player, having played all 16 regular season games the past five years and seven times total in his NFL career.

As of Tuesday morning, no official word yet from the team on this move.

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