The Houston Texans Linebacker Connor Barwin will be a free agent in less than 48 hours. Barwin is 26 years old, and has expressed interest playing for a winning team with an established QB, willing to take a pay cut to make it happen. He also said joining the Patriots “would be nice”. Barwin had a great 2011 season with 11.5 sacks, and 7 passes defended. In 2012 Barwin had a down year ending it with only 3 sacks, and had 5 passes defended.
Barwin would make a good fit for the New England Patriots and would make sense if they kicked the tires on the young linebacker. Barwin could play DE as well as LB, and New England loves moving pieces on defense. The Patriots need depth at linebacker. They have a good linebacking core, but none of them can cover, and their isn’t much talented depth behind the three starters. Brandon Spikes really has no business on the field during third down plays, obvious passing plays, since he isn’t a great pass rusher, and he can not cover at all. Mayo and Hightower are talented pass rushers, but can’t cover. Barwin is a good coverage linebacker, key word is good, not great at it, but better then the ones we have. But imagine Mayo, Hightower, and Barwin blitzing the QB in an all out blitz. Make for one scary linebacking core with Spikes, the run stuffer, as well. Connor Barwin would make a perfect fit for this linebacking group, and would add another pass rusher to the mix. That would give New England three good pass rushers rushing from the linebacking position. New England needs pass rushers, from the linebackers spot and the defensive line, they also need depth, good, talented depth. Barwin and Spikes switching in and out of the game with the others would be great for the Patriots, or Barwin switching with Hightower or Barwin switching with someone on the defensive line. Players like Barwin allow a team like New England to do different things. It makes sense for the heart of the defense to add another young, talented pass rushing linebacker.
If Barwin is serious about taking a pay cut to play with a great team, then New England should at the very least talk with the linebacker. Barwin also adds swag, aggressiveness, and attitude, and the defense for the Patriots need that all over.