NFL Free Agency: Why the New England Patriots Should Target Mathias Kiwanuka
Rest assured, there's still a chance to pursue a few via free agency.
As the NFL lockout has literally turned the offseason upside down, all 32 teams are awaiting the lockout to be lifted and for free agency to start.
Once the free agency period begins, the New England Patriots should seriously consider defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka.
The New York Giant and Boston College alumnus was the 32nd overall pick by the Giants in the 2006 NFL draft and has posted some quality and respectable numbers during his five-year career.
Kiwanuka's best season came in 2008, when he tallied eight and a half sacks and 51 tackles. His 2009 season wasn't too shabby, either, as he recorded 61 tackles and three sacks.
Kiwanuka spent most of last season on injured reserve with a herniated disc, but he was still effective in the three games he played in (11 tackles and four sacks).
Some may speculate that Kiwanuka is not a pure pass rusher and that New England needs to go out and grab one immediately—I have to disagree.
Should New England target Mathias Kiwanuka?
Kiwanuka is a very well-rounded player that can do a lot of "little things," as well as being a dominant force on the defensive line.
I also strongly disagree that the Patriots need to go out and sign a pure pass rusher.
What the Patriots need is an every-down defensive end/outside linebacker that can also put pressure on the opposing team's quarterback.
The market may be small for Kiwanuka, as many franchises may feel he's too risky due to his injury-plagued 2010 campaign. Therefore, if the Patriots can get him at a minimal price, he's definitely worth the risk.
There have been no words on when the lockout will be lifted and when free agency will begin. However, I strongly suspect that the Patriots will have Kiwanuka on their radar of players to be contacting once they're permitted to.
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