Davin Joseph took visit to Patriots

The New England Patriots haven't just been focusing on the NFL draft in recent weeks, as they've also explored some veteran free agents as possible fits. Veteran guard Davin Joseph, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is among the small handful of free agents who have visited the team.

A first-round draft choice of the Buccaneers in 2006, Joseph has played in 100 career regular-season games, with 99 starts. The 30-year-old Joseph was released by the Buccaneers on March 8, in part because he was scheduled to count $6 million against the salary cap.

After missing the 2012 season because of a knee injury, Joseph started every game at right guard in 2013, although media observers felt his play had slipped.

"It will be a different year for me, and I'm looking forward to starting the season healthy and playing back to my old self next year," Joseph told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times after he was released. "It was tough last year, but with every hurdle you jump, you learn something new. I don't think it hurt my career. Had all the support from coach [Greg] Schiano and [general manager] Mark Dominik, and they did a great job of letting me come back. But it took some time. Now with a full offseason, I look forward to showing what I can do."

Earlier in free agency, the Patriots had hosted guard Shelley Smith, who ultimately signed with the Miami Dolphins. The visits with Smith and Joseph indicate that the position is an area where the club has considered adding depth.