Defense hasn’t exactly been a strength for the New England Patriots in recent years, but on Wednesday, they made a (small) investment in their future on that side of the football.
The Patriots were awarded the services of former Texans and Buccaneers defensive tackle Chris Jones, and as a result, required the 2013 6th-round pick for no cost. This is the type of no-risk, high-upside maneuver that a contender can make, and the only cost of acquiring Jones was having to relinquish the rights to backup offensive guard Josh Kline.
With the move, the Pats bolster their admittedly lacking defensive line depth. They are set in a big way with Vince Wilfork heading their starting crew at defensive tackle, but behind him, the Pats have nothing of consequence, and many scouts were very high on Jones as he came out of Bowling Green. In fact, the only active player behind Wilfork and former Raider Tommy Kelly is an undrafted free agent, so any upgrade could be beneficial.
In fairness, the position of weakness for New England has been the secondary, and this move doesn’t address that. However, they are loaded on the offensive line (again), so swapping depth there for quality depth on defense should present a short-term win (at the very least) for Bill Belichick and company.