According to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels, who cites a source, the Patriots have expressed interest in free agent defensive lineman Nick Fairley.
Fairley is a 6-5, 291-pound interior lineman with the athleticism to get into the backfield and collapse the pocket. In his four seasons with the Detriot Lions, Fairley had 66 tackles, 13.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in 46 career games, 30 of which were starts.
Fairley was the 13th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Auburn but has had some troubles, on and off the field, during his career. He's been arrested twice – once for a DUI and the other for possession of marijuana -- and could potentially face NFL discipline for the DUI. He's also dealt with some injuries, including a torn MCL that ended his season prematurely last October.