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Free Agent Snapshot: Matt Roth

05.07.11 at 12:31 am ET
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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.

Matt Roth
Position: OLB/DE
Age: 28
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 275

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 ‘€œvoluntary’€ 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.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Dick Jauron, Eric Mangini
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