It was quite apparent that the New England Patriots lacked quality depth at defensive tackle going into this season. The depth chart comprised of Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly but not much else. Now with Wilfork out for the season and Kelly battling a right knee injury, that lack of depth is being exposed.
So it’s time for Patriots head coach/general manager Bill Belichick to search the market for some veteran help. The cupboard is pretty bare regarding the free agent market, featuring old and injury-prone players that are unlikely to hold up much longer. Still, some of these players could be effective in part-time roles. Plus there wouldn’t be much of a risk bringing in players on a non-guaranteed contract worth the veteran’s minimum.
Let’s see what names stick out. First, there’s former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Corey Williams. He’s 33 and coming off of knee surgery but possesses nice size at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds. Williams also tallied two sacks in just seven games last season. That type of pass-rushing ability would be very welcome in New England.
Then there’s old friend Ty Warren. Warren played with the Patriots between 2003 and 2010. Familiarity might not be enough for him, though, as the 32-year-old is coming off of two triceps tears and a hip injury. If he’s somewhat healthy, however, his experience and size (6-foot-5, 300 pounds) would come in handy.
One potential wild card is a defensive tackle that is currently residing on the roster. That man is Armond Armstead, who was signed out of the Canadian Football League. Armstead played college football at the University of Southern California and was flashing before he had a heart attack that caused him to miss the 2011 season. However, he recorded six sacks in his 2012 season with the CFL. Add that to his size (6-foot-5, 295 pounds), and you get quite the package. The problem is that Armstead is currently on Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. This is due to surgery to treat an unspecified infection, so it’s not known when the young defensive tackle will return.
Even if Armstead comes back soon, help is still needed inside. Belichick would be wise to search high and low for somebody to contribute.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.