In an effort to shore of their offensive line, the Patriots added veteran offensive lineman Eric Ghiaciuc to the roster. The move adds experience to a group dealing with the holdout by All Pro guard Logan Mankins and the injury absence of veteran Nick Kaczur. To make room for Ghiaciuc, the team released rookie John Wise.
Head coach Bill Belichick described the move as adding veteran experience at a position in need of more than rookie youth.
"Eric has got some flexibility. He has played the inside positions. He's been in the league so he's got a little more experience there, Belichick said. "Although I think John did a good job, we just felt like with the preseason games coming up and where our team is, that he'd have a little more opportunity."
Ghiaciuc is a five-year veteran with experience at playing multiple positions on the offensive line. The 6-foot-4, 303-pound free agent joins New England after spending time with the Cleveland Browns earlier this summer. A fourth round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2005 NFL Draft, Ghiaciuc played four seasons in Cincinnati before joining the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason of 2009. He was released prior to the regular season. The San Diego Chargers signed Ghiaciuc in December of '09. The former Michigan State wrestler has appeared in 48 games during his NFL career with 42 starts.
Belichick described the signing Ghiaciuc and the severity of Nick Kaczur's injury as separate issues, and the two were not connected in any way.
"No," Belichick said. "I would say that they are totally unrelated."
Wise joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent in April 2010. A former wrestler, the 6-foot-5, 298-pound lineman played on defense for Western Illinois before joining the wresting team at Illinois.
Jon Scott has covered the NFL the past ten seasons. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Jon's articles have appeared on the pages of The OBR Magazine, Warpaint Illustrated, TFY Draft Preview, Scout.com and FoxSports.com's Fantasy Guides. He has also covered the league for TheInsiders, Scout.com, CSNNE.com and FOXSports.com You can follow Jon via twitter @JScottNFL.
Patriots Sign Veteran Lineman
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