Getting to know Josh Barrett

Mike Rodak/ESPN Boston

Josh Barrett talks with the media Monday.The safety position has seen significant change for the Patriots this season, with Brandon Meriweather (Bears) and James Sanders (Falcons) out, and Josh Barrett and James Ihedigbo in.

Third-year man Patrick Chung (5-11, 212) is a lock to be one starter and second-year player Sergio Brown (6-2, 210) projects to have the upper hand to play alongside Chung. But Barrett (6-2, 230) is also in the mix; he started the preseason finale next to Chung.

One question often asked: Who will the free safety, who will be the strong safety? The Patriots view their safeties as interchangeable. For example, on the first play of the preseason finale against the Giants, Chung was playing closer to the line of scrimmage, while Barrett was deep.

Because he is a relative newcomer, Barrett isn't as well know to Patriots followers so here are some quick hits on his background:

Age: 26

College: Arizona State

Draft: Denver Broncos, 7th round (220th overall) in 2008

How Obtained: The Broncos waived Barrett on Aug. 5, 2010 with the intention of moving him to injured reserve when he cleared waivers. Instead, the Patriots claimed him despite a shoulder injury and waited until they could move him to injured reserve later that month without exposing him to waivers.

NFL experience: In 2008, Barrett spent 11 weeks on the Broncos' practice squad before being signed to the active roster on Nov. 22. He played the final six games that season, starting three, and finished with 23 tackles and an interception. In 2009, Barrett appeared in 14 games for the Broncos, the majority of his time spent on special teams.

Preseason play: Barrett recorded all four of his preseason tackles against the New York Giants in the exhibition finale on Thursday.