Earlier today, ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots had signed defensive lineman Marcus Stroud to a two year deal. The Bills cut Stroud roughly a month ago after he failed a physical. From what I’ve heard it was no surprise, as Stroud had been disappointing for the Bills during their transition to the 3-4 defense. That makes it a somewhat surprising move for the Pats, who also play the 3-4 and at 32, Stroud is no spring chicken.
Where the move does seem to make sense for the Pats is as an insurance policy for some of the unknown commodities on that D-line. Mike Wright had a serious concussion in 2010 that kept him out for two months, Gerard Warren is a free agent, Ron Brace has underperformed and Brandon Deaderick was suspended by the team for a short period at the end of last season. I see the D-line as Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork and A.N. Other at this point. Stroud is mainly a run-stuffing kinda guy, kinda stiff and not much of a pass rusher at all, but if some of these other guys are gone, maybe Stroud will have a role to play in the rotation at D-line. Belichick does like to use a lot of guys there. I also suspect the deal is at or close to the veteran minimum, so there’s little to lose from taking a look at Stroud during training camp.