The Patriots signed a former Carolina Panthers defensive lineman, but it wasn't the one they were looking for. Rather than pay big money to an inconsistent end like Julius Peppers like Chicago did, New England opted to sign his teammate for a much more modest sum.
The Patriots signed DL Damione Lewis to a one-year reportedly $1.15 million deal on Tuesday. The agreement was first reported by ESPN. Scout.com was the first to report that Lewis actually signed the deal
The Panthers opted to release Lewis in March. According to Lewis, the decision came down to financial reasons. Lewis was due $4 million this season.
'Coach (John) Fox said it was more of an economic deal," Lewis said at the time. "He said it wasn't about the way I played."
By adding Lewis to their roster, New England brings in another value priced defender with plenty of experience. Expected to compete for a role on the interior line next to Vince Wilfork, Lewis has the size and the experience necessary to help solidify New England's interior defensive line until second year players Myron Pryor and Ron Brace can develop.
Lewis started all 16 games for Carolina last year. The 6-foot-2, 301-pound former first round pick spent five seasons with the Rams (2001-05) before his four-year run with the Panthers (2006-09). Lewis finsihed with 41 tackles (29 solo) and 0.5 sacks in 2009. In nine seasons he has 244 tackles, 22.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.
(information from league sources and wire reports was used in this report)
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