Ever since Super Bowl XLVI ended in February, New England Patriots veteran Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters has been deciding whether he’ll continue his career. Waters has won everything possible in the NFL except the Lombardi trophy. Many felt that would be enough to pull him back to New England for one more season. One of this week’s NFL rumors is that the New England Patriots may be ready to move on without him.
While Waters continues to attempt to decide his future, the Patriots seem to be moving on without him. On Wednesday the team signed rookie free agent offensive lineman Derek Dennis. Originally signed out of Temple by the Miami Dolphins, the 6-foot-3, 315 pound guard was released by Miami on the first day of training camp but has been given the final available spot on the team’s 90-man roster.
Logan Mankins is currently injured but is expected to be ready for the beginning of the season. Dennis’ addition could be as a replacement for Waters. When Robert Gallery was signed by the Patriots this offseason many thought it was to back up Waters but he may now be his new replacement. Another possibility would be to move Dan Connolly to replace Waters. This is an option that many following the team have suggested if Waters did decide to retire.
If Waters doesn’t make his decision soon on whether or not he will be returning for another season in the NFL, the Patriots will be forced to make a decision. With the signing of Dennis, they may have made that decision and are ready for the future without their starting guard. With the uncertainty of the Patriots current offensive line, it’ll take time to create confidence in the line and this signing now may have been for that reason.