The %%MATCH_6%% have a decision to make, and they need to make it soon if they're going to upgrade a position desperately in need of talent. Derrick Burgess has opted to stay away from Patriots camp, and the team is trying to figure out if the players on the roster have the right stuff to replace him.
One of the faces to get a recent workout with the team was former %%MATCH_8%% defensive lineman Adewale Ogunleye. Ogunleye worked out for the Patriots Sunday, but left without a contract. The former Bear is reportedly in good shape according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.
"Adewale Ogunleye is not on an NFL team right now but he is in NFL shape! He just passed the 300 yard shuttle conditioning test with ease" Rosenhaus said via twitter
Despite coming off injury and passing a conditioning test, Ogunleye is not in high demand according to reports. CSNNE reports that no deal is imminent with Ogunleye, but that does not mean one won't happen.
If Ogunleye does have something to offer, we asked Bears Insider John Crist exactly what to expect from the former Chicago defender.
Here's Crist's scouting report:
Although Adewale Ogunleye was a solid player during his tenure in Chicago, the Bears thought they were getting a dominant pass rusher -- they didn't. For the most part, Ogunleye is a well-rounded defensive end that gets occasional pressure off the edge and defends the run admirably, plus he's shown a talent for forced fumbles from time to time. He has also served as a team captain and is respected by his peers in the locker room, which is important to a team like the Patriots that is known for squeezing every last ounce of production out of veteran players. But he's a left end in a 4-3, not big enough to play the five technique like %%MATCH_5%% and certainly not athletic enough to be an outside linebacker like Tully Banta-Cain. I'd sign him if I was looking for a backup defensive end in a 4-3, but he doesn't make a lot of sense for a 3-4 team.
Ogunleye entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie signed by the %%MATCH_7%% in April of 2004. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Indiana product spent his rookie NFL season on the Non-Football Injury list as he recovered from a knee injury he suffered his senior season in college. After four seasons, Ogunleye was traded to the Chicago Bears for WR %%MATCH_4%% and a conditional 2005 draft pick. After his contract expired in Chicago, Ogunleye became a free agent.
Patriots Insider's Take:
With few viable veteran options to add depth to the Patriots unit, Ogunleye offers a veteran talent who could step in to become a contributor to the Patriots rotation. While Crist may not believe Ogunleye offers the type of physical presence to play DE/OLB in the New England system, that's not to say there couldn't be a role for the veteran. Ogunleye is a little larger than the man he could replace, Derrick Burgess who is just 6-foot-2, 255-pounds. Despite being a viable option as a backup player, perhaps the issue preventing Ogunleye from getting an offer is that his demands – the same ones that caused the Bears to pass on him – are a bit higher than what the Patriots are willing to offer, especially after re-signing Burgess. It's a good bet that New England will wait out the Burgess situation, even if it means letting Ogunleye move on to another team.
John Crist covers the Chicago Bears for FOXSports.com at Bear Report Magazine and Bearreport.com<.a>
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