Closer look at Stroud's potential role

Free-agent defensive lineman Marcus Stroud, who agreed to a two-year deal with the Patriots (according to ESPN's Adam Schefter), projects to a similar role that Gerard Warren played for the Patriots in 2010.

The 32-year-old Stroud, entering his 11th NFL season, is no longer a full-time player. He's likely to compete for playing time on first and second down, from the defensive end spot in the team's base 3-4 alignment.

One pro personnel director described Stroud as a player near the end of the line, but pointed out that the Patriots have traditionally done a good job of getting one or two more years out of those in the latter stages of their career.

Stroud, who was viewed as playing at a higher level than John Henderson (who just re-signed with Oakland), is 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. He is tall and often plays upright (he's not a natural bender), so his primary value figures to be against the run.