By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots are starting to ramp things up as NFL free agency officially gets underway. They're expected to have a free-agent meeting with former Chiefs defensive lineman Allen Bailey on Thursday, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Originally drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft, Bailey has been a solid defensive lineman in eight seasons for the Chiefs. He can play on the edge or the interior, and the latter spot is where he'd be a nice fit in New England. The Patriots studied Bailey extensively and met with him before the draft, so obviously Bill Belichick is still a fan.
Bailey had a career-high six sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 2018 for the Chiefs. He made some big-time plays in big-time games, including a strip-sack and touchdown against the Rams in their 54-51 scoring extravaganza.
Allen Bailey strips Goff and scores a TD pic.twitter.com/s29Wu3mxNX
— ???? (@BrettPats) March 14, 2019
Bailey also forced four fumbles and recovered two of them last season, including a recovery against the Patriots in the Chiefs' 43-40 loss at Gillette Stadium in Week 6. Tom Brady held on to the ball too long as he scrambled before Reggie Ragland and Breeland Speaks wriggled the ball loose, then Bailey dove on it as he stayed in pursuit.
Bailey turns 30 later this month, but he'd bring versatility and some veteran savvy to the Patriots' defensive line rotation. Belichick has taken a liking to the "veteran savvy" part in recent roster-building, which allowed him to masterfully scheme his defense all the way to a Super Bowl championship this past season. Bailey would be the latest example.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].