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Now I’ll need you to sit back and brace yourself for this news. The Patriots have just signed Gerard Warren! I know, that Gerard Warren.
Now you might be thinking that this secures the AFC East for New England next season. That even though the Jets and Dolphins have been getting better, the huge Warren signing gives New England all the advantages. Well you would be right.
Once considered a major talent, Warren was drafted third overall to Cleveland in the 2001 draft, ahead of other defensive ends, Richard Seymour, Kris Jenkins, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Casey Hampton, and ahead of other players such as LaDanian Tomlinson, Reggie Wayne, Chad Ochocinco, and Drew Brees. Considering that draft class, it’s clear that Warren would be considered a bust. He had a decent rookie season, with five sacks and 48 tackles for the Bowns. He was a steady player in Cleveland, before him and several other Browns defensive linemen were sent to Denver and helped the Broncos make its most recent playoff appearance in 2005.
After a lackluster 2006 season, Warren was shipped to Oakland, where he put up minimal numbers and he slowly fell into obscurity.
Now, he joins a defense that just lost Jarvis Green to free agency. He might have the opportunity to start alongside Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren, but he will have to earn it. If not, he will have to come off the bench and fill in for injured players.
He may not have the speed he once possessed, but he is a reliable player. Warren has played, and started all 16 games in Oakland over the past two seasons. He has never amassed more then 5.5 sacks during a season, but he has never played with someone as dominating as Wilfork.
This may not be the greatest signing in Patriots history, but if given the opportunity, New England fans might be surprised with what Gerard Warren has to offer.