The New England Patriots signed free agent offensive lineman Anthony Clement on Monday July 21, 2008. The 6-foot-8, 320-pound tackle played for the New York Jets the past two seasons as a starter at right tackle. The Jets released him on March 8, 2008.
Dan Leberfeld who covers the New York Jets has seen Clement in action on the New York line. While his performance hasn't been spectacular, Clement should fit the need according to Leberfeld.
"He's a solid, seasoned pro," said Leberfeld. "If the Pats need him to start, he won't embarrass himself. He's a pretty good athlete, and has really long arms on his 6-8 frame."
Leberfeld thought the Clement signing could be a good move for the Patriots.
"To get a tackle with this kind of starting experience late in the process is a good move by the Pats, especially with Kaczur's future up in the air."
Kaczur was arrested earlier this year for illegal possession of a controlled substance after being pulled over for speeding. He avoided jail time by cooperating with authorities and is on probation for 6-months. Though his status with the league remains undetermined, Kaczur is participating in the Patriots training camp. After initially working with the subs, Kaczur began to work with the first team while Matt Light remains sidelined. His status with the team is uncertain at this time.
Clement could fill the role of swing tackle should he beat out one of the other reserve tackles, or Kaczur becomes unavailable. The Patriots currently list five tackles on the roster: Matt Light, Kaczur, Ryan O'Callaghan, Wesley Britt and Clement.
More From Leberfeld on Clement:
Clement is what Bill Parcells would call a "hold-the-fort" player. He can do a decent job for a while, but probably isn't a long-term answer at this stage of his career. But I think he took too much criticism last year. I actually think he played better than the left tackle - D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
The Jets right side of Brandon Moore and Clement was better than their left side of Ferguson and Adrian Clarke. But after the season, the Jets knew they needed to make major changes on the offensive line. They fired the line coach, and brought in a new left guard (Alan Faneca) and right tackle (Damien Woody). Clement really wasn't terrible last year. On some level, he might have been scapegoated. Obviously they weren't going to get rid of Ferguson (the fourth pick of the draft in 2006).
I think the Jets want more of a roadgrating line, and that is why Faneca and Woody were brought in. They are big, tough guys. Clement is more of a finesse tackle. But he's a solid, seasoned pro."