tommy-kelly2

Bill Belichick has a thing for large, aging men. Wait, that came off wrong.

Bill Belichick has a thing for defensive tackles who may be a little older, and a little past their prime, and therefore they can be had on the cheap while still making a sold contribution and being a disruptive force up the middle.

First Albert Haynesworth fit that description, and then he was promptly released when it was discovered that he’s still a turd. Now the torch has been passed to Tommy Kelly, and while it’s difficult to determine whether or not he can regain his interior pass rushing strength that led to 14.5 sacks between 2010 and 2011, he’s infinitely better than Fat Albert.

The Patriots signed the now former Raider to a two-year contract, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Kelly was jettisoned during Oakland’s massive rebuild and salary cap gutting this offseason, with general manager Reggie McKenzie purging his payroll. He was due to earn $6.5 million in 2013, which is, oh, about $4 million more than what he should make.

The decision to cut Kelly was made easier by his abrupt cliff dive. After recording back-to-back years with at least seven sacks, he brought the opposing quarterback down only once in 2012, despite playing all 16 games. Worse, he had only 18 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, after recording over 30 the previous season.

But as a buy-low candidate, it makes sense for Belichick to insert a low cost (presumably…financial figures haven’t surfaced yet), high-ceiling veteran alongside Vince Wilfork, hoping that the lack of focus on Kelly will help him regain at least part of his 2011 form.

And if that doesn’t happen…meh. He can’t be worse than Haynesworth.