2012 Free Agency: Patriots Sign Steve Gregory

Steve Gregory Patriots

Steve Gregory will be a versatile part of the Patriots defense. (Photo: ICON SMI)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Last year the Safety position for the New England Patriots was a revolving door. Thursday the Patriots made their first move to improve the position for the 2012-2013 season by signing former San Diego Charger Steve Gregory.  

Gregory received a 3 year deal worth $8.8 million and $3.35 million guaranteed.

Steve Gregory is an interesting player. He’s not the big name or flashy player that fans might have been looking for at the start of the free agent signing period, but he is a Patriots type player. Gregory has the ability to play FS, which he did a lot of last year, and also move down and cover the slot in nickel situations. This is a position that the Patriots really struggled to fill last year. They tried a bunch of different players in a similar role from Sergio Brown to Josh Barrett. Each one had trouble covering slot WRs, as well as tight ends.

Once Patrick Chung went down the lack of depth at the position was even more evident and it really cost the Patriots in big situations. When Chung was healthy they struggled to find a compliment to play with him.

With the NFL moving more and more to a passing league teams need more than just the conventional Strong Safety and Free Safety. They need to be able to put combinations of players on the field based on the offenses they are facing. As I have said many times since the season has ended, the Patriots need to sign more than just one safety this off season.

Gregory will likely be a replacement for Sergio Brown who just didn’t develop like Bill Belichick and the coaching staff had hoped for. Brown was decent on special teams, but struggled each time he was asked to cover. While Gregory has struggled at times in coverage, he will provide an athletic upgrade over the multitude of players they put out there last season. Gregory is also a very good special teams player and should be able to help on all coverage units.

The Patriots seem to be focusing their attentions heavily on the safety position, which likely means Devin McCourty will remain at CB next season. Aside from Gregory, the Patriots are still very interested in former Redskin’s S LaRon Landry who will be visiting Foxboro this weekend. Landry is more of a strong safety at this point than Gregory and likes to deliver vicious hits (something the Patriots need more of),  but would form a solid trio between himself, Gregory and Chung.

With this year’s draft and free agent classes being so weak at safety and the Patriots need there being so vital they have to be aggressive and it appears that is what they are doing.

One thing is certain, no matter who they bring in to play the position next year, it will be an upgrade over what they put out there last season.

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12 Responses to “2012 Free Agency: Patriots Sign Steve Gregory”

  1. Dano S says:

    Gregory was a great signing. I hope we can sign a few more free agents as it gives great flexiblity at draft time.Pats Mock Draft 1 Fletcher Cox
    Miss.St 1 Brandon Boykin CB Georgia 2 Peter Konz C Wisconsin
    2 Shea McClellin OLB/DE 3 Ladarius Green TE Louisiana-Lafayette
    4 Dwight Bentley CB Louisiana-Layayette.

  2. JMC says:

    Gregory is a good sign- depth and speed-

  3. JMC says:

    Landry can play some slot, man vs. TEs and even some lb and pass rush but he’s a two down player at best and I would not pay him for more than that-

  4. Jim R says:

    Sometimes when BB makes a WTF move it works out

  5. Lundahl says:

    Anything but Sergio Brown. Hey, a whole load of people bashed BB for giving allot of attention on rookie undrafted free agent Sterling Moore. And this kid qualified us to the SuperBowl and ended playing in it. I think he’s decent for depth options.

  6. Ratzalot says:

    I have no idea what BB sees in this guy. Gregory was torched frequently in coverage last year. For the amount of money spent on Gregory, the Patriots could have spent the money on two similar rookie CBs to tryout at the free safety spot. I really hope this is just a diversionary tactic.

  7. DWE 2012 says:

    ***I Like it.
    So far the Pat’s have aquired a much needed upgrade with Jonathan Fanene( 24 tackles & 6.5 sack’s last year ) regarding the defense & should only actually be/get better playing along side guy’s like Wilfork and Love.
    They have re-signed LOVE, 3rd year? out of Ol’ Miss undrafted who has worked out very well IMO for the team. SMART MOVE HERE with LOVE.
    (also defensive)

    ***Gregory is a clear and much needed UPGRADE. Although not flashy and top of the line; I think he’ll be a “steady & consistent” player who can be depended on and is just the begining of a re-vamped NE backfield, which is much needed.
    (also defensive).

    Also signed was DLineman Marcus Harrison……(Defencive again)Although I’m not specifically familiar of his particular body of work, he did play along side mARK aNDERSON previously while a Chicago Bear as well.

    Not yet a Big Woolie Mammoth Teddy Washington or Corry Dillon Power Back front page of the Woonsocket CAll splash signing…….. But clearly they have been signing defensive player upgrades who show sign’s of 2thing’s…..

    Stability and consistency.

    I like it.

    Thus far I like the upgrades they have made.

    • MJP says:

      Gregory was the 74th ranked Safety out of 86 last year, he managed to nullify all of his positive plays and ended making 11 plays that were just so terrible they couldn’t be ignored.

      Unless there’s some magical transformation that takes place when he moves to FS then this is NOT AN UPGRADE….it’s more of the same.

      • DWE 2012 says:

        Yes, and I actually feel that they may have paid too much for him as well. But my 2cent’s worth as seen was more about the signing’s as a whole. ALL DEFENSIVE. Both Sign’s & Re-Sign’s.
        I have no knowledge of his presonal work, but at the time I was happy to see that they signed a “SAFETY” who was to my knowledge at least around for 4 or 5 year’s VS. usless rookie hopefull’s like SERGIO BROWN & that other waste. Both of whom were spoken of quite highly on this site on numerous occaision’s( To which I could never figure out why ), alot of people had high hopes…..I did not for either and they both other than 1 play here or there sucked wind.

        Again, I am not knowledgable of Gregory’s work, but at the time it was along with the other signing’s, nice 2c they have begun small immeidiete signing’s of some basic and general upgrades. At least Gregory has the OP now to step up in “OUR SYSTEM” VS one run by that “OTHER H.C.”, where as we already know the other two clown’s we had back there last year cannot.

  8. MJP says:

    So basically Steve Gregory sucks….awesome. Can’t play SS and can’t cover….sounds like a great fit at FS.

    Never trust a guy with two first names, never!

  9. Tom says:

    Landry might be a good player to have on the roster. Chung hasn’t played a complete season yet because of injury, so having someone at the SS position that could fill in for him when he is injured would be a smart.

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