Last year the Patriots hit free agency pay dirt by signing veteran safety Rodney Harrison, a player the Chargers and others believed was on the downside of his career. Harrison subsequently started all 16 games, recording a team high 140 tackles for a New England defense that ranked seventh in the NFL and helped pave the road to Super bowl XXXVIII success.
According to published reports in today's Boston Herald and Providence Journal the Patriots may be looking for a similar acquisition this offseason, showing interest in recently-released Tampa Bay safety John Lynch. The Buccaneers officially released the 6-2, 220-pounder on Tuesday in a salary cap move and he will reportedly meet with the Patriots today. Given permission by Tampa last week to negotiate with other teams, the five-time Pro Bowl safety has reportedly already met with the Seahawks and Broncos and will move on to the Jets and Colts after leaving New England.
Originally drafted by Tampa in the third round of the 1993 NFL draft out of Stanford, the 33-year-old strong safety played in 164 games in his career with the Buccaneers. His 11-season totals include 973 tackles (including six seasons of more than 100), 23 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and 74 passes defensed. Last season he started 14 games, missing two with a shoulder stinger injury, and recorded 95 tackles with two interceptions and seven passes defensed.
NFL Network to air 22 NFLEL games
For those Patriots fans interested in keeping track of quarterback Rohan Davey and the rest of New England's allocations in NFL Europe this spring the NFL Network will be televising 22 games beginning on April 3. The network will have will air two games each weekend throughout the 10-week season, with both live and taped action on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the spring.
Davey's team, the Berlin Thunder will have their first NFL Network appearance against the Rhein Fire on April 24, the same day as the NFL Draft. In all, the Thunder will have four games on the NFL Network. Other Patriots included on the Berlin roster include wide receiver Chas Gessner, safety Scott Farley, linebacker Lawrence Flugence and guard Jamil Soriano.
One interesting aspect of the NFL Network telecasts is that a number of current and former NFL players will be providing game analysis for the broadcasts. The group of active players includes Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, Cowboys safety Darren Woodson, Packers safety Darren Sharper, Buccaneers quarterback Jason Garrett, Broncos quarterback Steve Beuerlein and Jaguars tight end Kyle Brady, while former Patriot Steve Israel is among the list of former players that includes Hardy Nickerson, Erik Kramer and Mike Lodish.
Just a reminder to Rohan Davey fans out there, the third-year quarterback will be doing a weekly diary throughout the season on Patrtiots.com to discuss his experiences this spring in NFLEL.
Former Patriots training camp wide receiver Rob Milanese was placed on NFLEL injured reserve by the Rhein Fire. … The New Orleans Saints signed former Bills, Ravens and Patriots fullback Sam Gash. … The Eagles officially acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Terrell Owens in a deal that sent defensive end Brandon Whiting to the 49ers and a fifth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens.
Various wire reports contributed to this story.