Willie McGinest Back To New England?

Alex JohnsonCorrespondent IJune 30, 2009

New England Patriots Willie McGinest during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXIX between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Former Browns and Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest is contemplating playing another season in the NFL.

"I’ve definitely got that itch," McGinest told The Sporting News. "I feel good. So, if the right situation with the right team and the right deal came along, I’d definitely go back and play again. I still want to play, I have that fire. I’ve been training, I never really stopped. But it has to be the right situation. I want to win, and I want to be around guys who want to win, work hard, and play team ball. I’m ready to go."

McGinest, 37, spent 12 seasons in New England winning three Super Bowls, and was a Cleveland Brown the last three years.

In 2008, he played in 14 games tallying 56 tackles, and a career low with just one sack.

"I don’t like the way I ended last year, going 4-12, it just wasn’t good. I don’t want to go out like that."

With McGinest having the "itch" to play a 16th season, where will he land if he indeed decides to go another round?

"I’ve had some talks with people. I’m not going to say I want to play for this team or that team. But I know there are teams that are capable of doing what I want to do, and being what I’m looking for in a team, something I’d want to be a part of. That said, it always takes two sides."

With the Patriots potentially needing a pass rushing OLB/DE like McGinest, could we see No. 55 back wearing red, white and blue?

"Yeah, I’ve talked to [quarterback] Tom [Brady], [defensive end Richard] Seymour and some other guys there.  Those guys are lifelong friends, and I’ve heard some people say that it’d be a good fit. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that? And with all the history I have, what we accomplished in the playoffs, that wouldn’t be a bad way to finish up.  But I’d say this would definitely be my last year." 

McGinest was a fan favorite in New England especially over his last few years with the team.

Obviously McGinest and any team that would be interested in signing him would ideally like a deal done by the start of training camp in mid-July.