According to multiple reports the Patriots acquired linebacker Jonathan Bostic from Chicago in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick. The deal is contingent upon Bostic passing his physical.
Bostic is an athletic linebacker in his third season after being selected by the Bears in the second round in 2013. The 6-1, 245-pound Bostic enjoyed success in Chicago before John Fox' arrival this season brought a scheme change to the Bears defense, which entailed more 3-4 fronts, and injuries never allowed him to compete for a spot.
Bostic's contract runs through 2016 and he'll join a Patriots depth chart that includes Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jerod Mayo and Jonathan Freeny.
All of those players are under contract through next season but Mayo's situation bears watching. He is due a $4 million roster bonus the first day of the 2016 league year, and if the Patriots pick it up he would count more than $11 million against the cap. Given Mayo's limited use through the first three games, it would appear to be a long shot that the Patriots would pick up that bonus, and Bostic could represent insurance for both the present and future.
Bostic was a productive player for the Bears during his first two seasons before back and ankle injuries put him on the inactive list thus far in 2015. He finished with 83 tackles in 13 games a year ago and had 57 stops as a rookie in 2013. He also has 2 sacks, an interceptions and a fumble recovery to his credit.
The Patriots have had some success recently with midseason acquisitions, picking up Akeem Ayers from Tennessee a year ago. Ayers provided some depth at linebacker when Hightower and Mayo were banged up, and Bostic could do the same given his range and speed. At the very least, he'll add another athlete to the kicking game.