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With Dan Connolly visiting the Buccaneers, and many unsure if Marcus Cannon or Cameron Fleming can step into the void left guard role, the Patriots brought in veteran interior offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski for a visit.

Formerly a member of the Raiders, where he played center last year, he also has had experience at guard as well. At the relatively young age of 26, with good size at 6'3" 315 lbs, his best football could be ahead of him.



Last season, he played in every game, and played in 98.2% of the Raiders offensive snaps. Once the offseason started, he underwent shoulder labrum surgery. This is likely why he is still a free agent. Teams want to wait for him to be healthy before committing a contract worth several million dollars a year. According to sources, Wisniewski is looking for a deal that would average around $4 million a year.

After he visited New England on Wednesday, he took a visit to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It does not sound like anything in will happen soon with Wisniewski, and the Jaguars have echoed that sentiment by having head coach Gus Bradley say "We will have more conversations about him."



Earlier in free agency, he visited the Bucs, Seahawks, and Bears, while also drawing interested from the Chiefs and Rams. Pete Carroll had been outspoken in hopes of signing him: "He’s a legitimate starter in the league. He really likes us and we liked him," Carroll said. "He’s a really solid football player and a smart kid. We’ll see where it goes."

In terms of how well Wisniewski played last year, while having a torn shoulder labrum, he gave up only one sack, three quarterback hits, and twelve quarterback hurries. For playing 1,041 snaps, those pass protection numbers are good, especially with a schedule going against Terrance Knighton, Vince Wilfork, and Sheldon Richardson, among other dominant defensive tackles. On top of that, he is even better in the run game, grading out as a +3.5 with Pro Football Focus' ratings.

If New England can add him to the line, it would also alleviate the need for a rookie to jump into the starting lineup. With the Patriots doing their due diligence on many guard prospects during Pro Days and private workouts, and their reported original interest in Eagles OG Evan Mathis, it seems they want to add to the line one way or another.

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Adam Bogdan 4/02/2015 06:46:00 PM Edit
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