Patriots Changes At Safety

James Ihedigbo

Change is in the air in New England. Team moves toward a youth movement at the safety spot. Other team's snap up New England's castoffs.

The New England Patriots had tough choices to make during their roster cut downs, and none were harder than in the secondary.   Despite being ranked dead last against the pass for most of 2011, the unit pulled together holding  onto leads vs the Broncos and Ravens as the Patriots made their postseason run.

New England restacked their roster in the offseason creating a logjam on the roster in the secondary. Free agents Steve Grogory and Marquise Cole  signed on with the Patriots, while three more backs were added through the Draft; DB Alfonzo Dennard, S Tavon Wilson and S Nate Ebner.

Two of the players cut by New England on Friday, have already found new teams.

Sergio Brown was claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts and James Ihedigbo is expected to sign a deal with the Ravens according to Scout NFL reporter and Baltimore Sun Ravens beat writer Aaron Wilson.

Brown was actually claimed by the Colts and the Giants, but the Colts were awarded his rights due to their waiver priority.  The former undrafted rookie, participated in 26 games over two seasons in New England, with 3 starts.

Ihedigbo signed with the Patriots as a free agent in 2011.  In 16 regular season games, Ihedigbo recorded 69 tackles (46 solo) with 1 pass defended for the Patriots.

New England parted ways with the pair in an effort to improve the performance in the secondary.  Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner will see more playing time backing up Patrick Chung and Gregory.  

New England has had difficulty securing their secondary since Rodney Harrison retired in 2008.  Brandon Meriweather, a former first round pick and heir apparent, was jettisoned in 2011 in favor of Chung and Ihedigbo / Brown.  The defense faltered again from a bottom third finish to nearly dead last in 2011.   

Fall is the season of change in New England, and at Foxboro that change starts with the secondary.

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