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Tully Banta-Cain’s release causes a New England Patriots fan concern
Growing up and living in the Boston area I have always been a die-hard New England Patriots fan. That's why when I heard that Tully Banta-Cain(notes) is to be released, just days after the NFL lockout's closing, I had a cause for concern. As a fan I believe Banta-Cain's release is a counterproductive move in relation to the Patriots pass-rush situation.
Why does Tully Banta-Cain's release cause you, a Patriots fan, concern?
Banta-Cain has been one of the Patriots best pass-rushers for the past couple of seasons. I find this fact to be an issue because not only were the Patriots already in dire need of another pass-rusher but now one of our better veteran pass-rushers has been let go.
Last season Banta-Cain recorded half of the Patriots outside linebackers' sacks and totaled for 14.5 sacks in the past two seasons combined. With my Patriots tied 14th among NFL teams for total sacks last season it's no doubt that we need to sign another pass-rusher, maybe two.
Who do the Patriots still have for outside linebackers?
Despite cutting Banta-Cain, we do have two young outside linebackers who have strong potential. Although, if the Patriots don't sign a high performing pass-rusher, they then will have to rely on these two inexperienced linebackers to make up for Banta-Cain's loss. As a Patriots fan who has seen young players like Tom Brady(notes) rise under pressure and others, like Lawrence Maroney, decline, this situation only poses another concern for me.
What pass-rusher would you like to see in a Patriots uniform?
I think that Mathis Kiwanuka would look great with Pat Patriot on his jersey. As long as he's healthy I think his performance as a defensive end for the New York Giants proves he could play for the Patriots. Before his injury in 2010, Kiwanuka recorded three sacks and 11 tackles in only three games.
If not him, I think Matt Roth(notes) or Manny Lawson(notes) would do very well in a Patriots uniform. Either player would be a great addition to the Patriots defense; both have experience, consistent numbers and years left in them.
Adam Schefter, 2011 NFL Lockout - Owners, players come to deal on all points, sources say, ESPN
ESPNBoston.com, Tully Banta-Cain to be cut by the New England Patriots, ESPN Boston
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