49ers castoff sticks as Patriots pass rusher

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The 49ers released Tully Banta-Cain this offseason following a disappointing two-year run with the team. Banta-Cain appears somewhat reborn with the Patriots, his original team, and has provided a boost to the pass rush in New England.

Banta-Cain is a backup outside linebacker, but he is making his mark at right defensive end in the Patriots' sub package. He had three tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss during three exhibition games, enough to stick on the initial 53-man roster.

The human element is difficult to account for in these situations, but it's possible Banta-Cain's release from the 49ers could lead him to produce more for the Patriots than he would have for the 49ers. Something to keep in mind if he finishes the 2009 season with more sacks than, say, Manny Lawson.