Monday, April 8, 2013

Pats hire Vince Wilfork some help in Tommy Kelly


The pressure of the New England Patriots' defensive line to perform has been on the shoulders of defensive tackle Vince Wilfork for some time now.

That load may have become a bit lighter.

In a move the team hopes will bolster the interior defensive front, New England signed 10-year veteran and former Oakland Raider Tommy Kelly to a two-year deal Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of (photo: Jeffrey Beall, Flickr)

Kelly, who joins the Pats after an off year in 2012, has put up solid numbers in the past and will look to strengthen New England’s middle-of-the-road pass rush and run defense. Kelly tallied 14.5 total sacks during the 2010-11 seasons, though he managed only 1.5 sacks last season.

Though his age isn’t his most attractive characteristic, 32-year-old has also spent time at defensive end during his career, which could, at the very least, provide some depth across the board for the Pats' thin front.

Despite his drop in numbers last season, Kelly has played in every game the past five years, and a dependable body on the line may be exactly what the team is looking for next to Wilfork, who’s entering his 10th season in the league, as well.

Kelly amassed 289 tackles, 34.5 sacks and 9 forced fumbles in his nine years with Oakland.

Follow Dan @DanBegnoche
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily