@MikeReiss How does the David Harris signing potentially effect McClellin? Cap casualty in camp? More of a pass rushing role?
— Brian Spead (@therealbnsprts) June 21, 2017
Brian, Shea McClellin played 34.5 percent of the defensive snaps last season, and he should have trade value before he would become a cap casualty. The Patriots are in substitution packages about 80 percent of the time, and McClellin's versatile skill set can be tapped in specific game plans against offenses that might trend more to the pass. In a recent practice, McClellin showed his athleticism by jamming a running back before dropping back into coverage and intercepting Tom Brady. That type of play is how I envision McClellin's fit on the team: almost like a passing-game linebacker.
Mike what's the likelihood he gets cut during preseason? Some of these veteran signings don't end up making 53 man roster
— JT (@JshHardy) June 21, 2017
JT, I'd say that's a long shot. The Patriots expect Harris to help them in 2017. If I were putting together a list of players I considered "locks" for the team, Harris would likely be on it. It was a surprise that he was even available -- the Jets surprisingly cut him in an economics-based move -- so it's not as though he doesn't have something significant to offer.
@MikeReiss so is OL now the biggest patriots need??
— Jbizzle (@Cleanfreeze) June 21, 2017
When the team's biggest need is interior offensive-line depth, that's a pretty good problem to have. No team truly has all its needs accounted for at this time, but the Patriots look strong across the board on paper. That could change once we get to training camp (first public practice is July 27) and there are potential injuries. After no-pads spring practices, it will be interesting to look more closely at the team's running backs during training camp, when there is full contact. I'm curious to get a better feel for the Mike Gillislee-for-LeGarrette Blount exchange, as well as the backup tight-end spot and if Dwayne Allen can duplicate what Martellus Bennett gave the Patriots in 2016.