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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Patriots Wrap Up A Busy Day With A Great Signing: Safety Adrian Wilson For 3 Years

Apparently if the Patriots can get free agents to Foxborough for a whirlwind tour, they can properly woo them which often results in signing a deal. One day after inking Leon Washington and a few hours after bringing aboard Donald Jones, New England made their biggest splash yet of this young offseason by signing safety Adrian Wilson to a three-year deal.

A team captain with the Cardinals, he played 12 years in the desert before getting released earlier this month. Wilson made five Pro Bowls (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and he was a first-team All-Pro in 2009 as well. He was available because he is 33 and will be 34 in October. That's a lot of wear and tear on such a physical player (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) that's known for his big hits.

I'm not saying he'll be Rodney Harrison since Rodney was a little younger when he came to New England so he had more of his career ahead of him but I feel like there are some similarities with Wilson in terms of great players that performed in anonymity on bad teams for years. Wilson has only appeared in six career playoff games, all of which were in either 2008 and 2009.

Wilson is one of only six players in NFL history to record 25+ sacks (25.5) and 25+ interceptions (27). In 15 games with Arizona last season (14 starts), he had 39 solo tackles, 15 assists, five passes defensed, one interception, one fumble forced and three sacks.

There are plenty of other safeties on the roster for 2013: Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner but Adrian Wilson might still be the best one of them all. Even if he can't be counted on as a full-time starter anymore, I can see him being used often in sub packages (nickel, dime) and passing situations. Seeing him with McCourty would be nice and hopefully he can help the promising but very raw Tavon Wilson (no relation) to develop. I think Gregory is awful so I want him cut while Ebner is only a special teams guy.

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