Patriots Adding Another Lineman?

The New England Patriots are looking to add another lineman to their roster. Veteran free agent tackle Barry Sims (Raiders) will visit the Patriots on Wednesday. Get inside to learn what his agent told Aaron Wilson Tuesday.

Free agent offensive lineman Barry Sims will work out for the New England Patriots on Wednesday at the team's facility in Foxboro. New England is one of Sims' stops this coming week as the veteran tackle continues his search for a new job in time for training camp.

The Oakland Raiders released Sims on February 29th. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound free agent will visit the New England Patriots on Wednesday and the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday.

Sims met with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday and has a visit scheduled with the St. Louis Rams later this week. He's expected to make a decision early next week after nearly signing with the Carolina Panthers in March.

"For a guy like Barry who's got a couple of years left in him, he wants to go to a good organization that is going up, not down, and has a chance to be in the playoffs," Sims' agent Ken Vierra told Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson, "Baltimore is definitely in that category. I see them as a good franchise.

"These are the teams that I've had contact with fairly regularly over the last couple of months and that we're seriously considering. We didn't want to drag it out, and I think the timing is right for everybody at this point. It's a feeling-out process on both sides, and we're looking for the right fit."

Sims, 33, started every game last season and has started 119 out of 136 games during nine seasons in Oakland.

Sims has the ability to line up at either tackle position, giving him the versatility that the Patriots crave. Nick Kaczur's recent troubles with controlled substances could put an additional sense of urgency in New England's desire to land another swing tackle. The team did not select a tackle in the draft, but did sign veteran offensive lineman Oliver Ross - also a tackle - last week.

Sims has also played left guard, but his natural position is left tackle.

"Barry's healthy and he's a guy who has been durable and played every offensive snap last year," Vierra said. "We're going to go through this week and basically evaluate each situation and they're going to evaluate him and we'll revisit things on Monday or Tuesday and make a decision. Barry's got a lot of good football left in him and this is a huge decision."

Barry Sims #65 of the Oakland Raiders blocks for Justin Fargas #25 against the Indianapolis Colts Dec 16, 2007 (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)


The Patriots may opt to sign Sims to compete for a role at the team's right tackle position. The Patriots currently have four tackles on the roster; Matt Light, Kaczur, Wesley Britt and Ryan O'Callaghan. First year pro Jimmy Martin is also listed as a reserve tackle and newcomer Oliver Ross has extensive experience playing the position.

Notes: Kaczur was involved with a DEA sting operation last month resulting in the recent arrest of a local man who allegedly supplied Kaczur with Oxycodone. A small amount of the drug was found in Kaczur's car after he was pulled over by New York authorities for speeding. Kaczur did not have a prescription for the controlled substance and was charged with misdemeanor drug possession.

-- The Patriots signed veteran offensive lineman Gene Mruczkowski earlier this week. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound former Patriot spent 2007 with the Miami Dolphins after four seasons in New England. Mruczkowski is expected to work at guard. He can also play center if the team needs him to.

-- Oliver Ross joined the Patriots on June 2, after three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. The 6-foot-4, 327-pound offensive lineman has played both right tackle and left tackle. Ross developed into a starting tackle during his five-year stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He may move inside to the guard position if required.

-- The Patriots used Kaczur to play at right guard during the team's recent passing camp. Third year pro Ryan O'Callaghan manned the right tackle position. The monstrous 6-foot-7, 330-pound Cal product has seven starts at right tackle for the Patriots. He played in 15 games with one start last season.

Aaron Wilson of contributed to this report. Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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