NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas
The New England Patriots made a silent signing last January, inking ex-Cleveland Brown Marcus Benard to a reserve/future contract.
A 27-year-old pass-rusher who went undrafted out of Jackson State, little was made of the Benard acquisition. He had recorded just three tackles since 2011. And to some, he was seen as merely padding for the 90-man offseason roster.
But to the Patriots, Benard may have been seen as more than that. He may have been seen as a reclamation project.
The 6’2”, 260-pound defensive end/outside linebacker battled his way into relevancy as a rookie. He worked his way up from Cleveland’s practice squad and was promoted to the active roster in November of 2009.
He didn’t look back.