|Free Agent Snapshot: Matt Roth||05.07.11 at 12:31 am ET|
Despite the labor uncertainty, over the course of the offseason, WEEI.com will present a list of 10 possible fits for the Patriots in free agency under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Browns are moving to a 4-3 under new coach Dick Jauron, which means this veteran of the 3-4 will be looking to test the free agent market. Roth is not an overwhelming threat as a pass rusher — he’s posted 20 career sacks in seven seasons in the NFL, including a combined 7.5 the last two years in Cleveland — but is an excellent complimentary piece who could provide depth outside and provide support in the run game.
Since college, Roth has played almost exclusively for former Bill Belichick lieutenants: as a collegian, he was with Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. In the pros, he’s also had stints with in Nick Saban (Miami) and Eric Mangini (Cleveland), which would likely mean an easy transition into the New England system. He would be a relatively inexpensive sign. And he certainly fits the body type the Patriots require when it comes to finding someone who could set the edge in the run game and provide a spark to the pass rush.
Why it might not work: Roth is a bit of a wild card. He ran afoul of Bill Parcells in Miami — skipping “voluntary” spring practices with the Dolphins because he was unhappy with his contract — which eventually got him released. While he’s generally considered a good locker room presence, he is also known as something of a glib personality, which might not play well in Foxboro. Of course, if he comes to New England and provides a spark for the pass rush, that’s the sort of thing that can be excused.
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