Patriots Talk: Latest Free Agents Lawrence Guy and Rex Burkhead
by Stephen Hilton
The New England Patriots have been going hard in free agency this off-season, even though it’s not even been a week already, they have already acquired several top free agents such as [Cornerback] Stephon Gilmore. However, the last few days the Patriots have been adding more to their overall roster that could be an indication of who will be added for depth and who will be starting.
One of the more recent signings was of former Baltimore Ravens‘ [Defensive End] Lawrence Guy. Guy has been playing in the NFL for six seasons and the Patriots have signed him for a four-year contract worth over twenty million total. (average of five million a year) He was drafted out of Arizona State in the 2011 NFL draft with 233rd overall pick (7th Round) by the Green Bay Packers but spent the season on injured reserve. He was part of the final cuts in 2012 and was claimed by the Indianapolis Colts and then was taken by the (now former) San Diego Chargers off waivers during the 2013 NFL season. After playing for short time during the 2014 season he was released and claimed by the Baltimore Ravens.
Guy has sixty-nine tackles with sixty assists, only 6.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. In 2016, Guy started in 10 out of the 16 games, managed for 14 tackles and 14 assists, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Why this signing is important: It is to fill the void left by [Outside Linebacker] Jabaal Sheard being signed by the Indianapolis Colts. It is very likely he will be a starter for next season and will play Sheard’s role as an interior edge rusher.
Yesterday, the Patriots acquired [Running Back] Rex Burkhead from the Cincinnati Bengals. He was drafted by the Bengals with 190th overall pick (6th Round) out of Nebraska in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has played in 42 games with only one start in his entire NFL career, as he played behind fellow Running back Jeremy Hill. In 2016, Burkhead played in all 16 games, had seventy-four carries for 334 yards, with two touchdowns and seventeen receptions for 145 yards. There are currently no announcements on what his contract will be worth or how long he will play for the Patriots.
Why this signing is important: It is likely that the Patriots aren’t going to resign Patriots free agent Brandon Bolden who is a key player on Special Teams and will likely use Burkhead as a fourth-down-option back.