New England Patriots

  • Bill Belichick is clearly unhappy with the performance of his linebacking corps so far.

    The New England Patriots not only brought back Jamie Collins for another stint, they continued to look into free-agent linebackers on Tuesday in Foxboro. As reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Tuesday, the Pats hosted three linebackers for workouts, plus an offensive tackle.

    They also worked out quarterback Garrett Gilbert, and they are reportedly expected to sign him to the practice squad. So that appears to be the team’s solution for QB depth, amid injuries to both Mac Jones (high-ankle sprain) and Brian Hoyer (head injury).

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  • Collins is also the likely answer at linebacker, where the team has particularly struggled on the inside in recent weeks. The Patriots have allowed 287 yards on the ground in the last two games, an average of 6.3 yards per carry, and two rushing touchdowns. Collins’ familiarity with the Patriots should allow for quick elevation from the practice squad to the main roster.

    Here’s a quick look at the other free agents who visited Foxboro this week…

  • LB Dorian O’Daniel

    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Dorian O'Daniel #6 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a missed field goal by the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half of the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

    GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 31: Dorian O’Daniel #6 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a missed field goal by the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half of the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

    O’Daniel is really a veteran at this point. He was drafted 100th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 and played four seasons there, but was used sparingly in 2021 – only 24 defensive snaps (2 percent), despite being active for all 17 games. He did play 79 percent of special teams snaps, so there may still be room for him to help a team in that area.

    The Pats might like O’Daniel’s history of winning; he played college ball at Clemson and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Chiefs in 2019.

  • LB Tae Davis

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 16: Tae Davis #58 of the New York Giants tackles Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on December 16, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 16: Tae Davis #58 of the New York Giants tackles Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on December 16, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    Davis has bounced around the league since playing four years at Tennessee-Chattanooga (Cole Strange connection). He was most recently with the Las Vegas Raiders (Josh McDaniels connection) but was placed on injured reserve in late August. He was eventually released and is now exploring possible new opportunities.

  • LB Blake Lynch

    WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 10: Blake Lynch #2 of the Baylor Bears pulls in a touchdown pass against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the third quarter at McLane Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    WACO, TX – SEPTEMBER 10: Blake Lynch #2 of the Baylor Bears pulls in a touchdown pass against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the third quarter at McLane Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    Lynch spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, mostly on their practice squad, but was active for 16 games last year with six starts. He played 19 percent of defensive snaps and 75 percent of special teams snaps. The Vikings waived him as part of their final roster cutdowns over the summer.

  • OT Ben Petrula

    CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 07: Ben Petrula #64 of the Boston College Eagles lines up on offense during the first half against the Richmond Spiders at Alumni Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

    CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 07: Ben Petrula #64 of the Boston College Eagles lines up on offense during the first half against the Richmond Spiders at Alumni Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

    The Patriots also have concerns at right tackle, where Isaiah Wynn has struggled mightily to start the 2022 campaign. Marcus Cannon replaced Wynn at right tackle in the second half of last Sunday’s game against the Packers and could find himself signed to the main roster soon, which would open up a spot for a practice squad lineman. B.C. is a veritable offensive line factory and Petrula has good size at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds. There could be something workable for Belichick here.

  • We’ll continue to keep you updated on all the Patriots’ roster moves, especially at quarterback, linebacker, and offensive line. They have things to sort out with their injury situations and on-field issues, so this may not be the last time we hear about free agents coming to Foxboro. Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.