INDIANAPOLIS -- Count veteran defensive lineman Gerard Warren among those free-agents-to-be who hope to return to the Patriots in 2012.
Warren was a solid contributor to the team this season in a reserve role. In Super Bowl XLVI, he was part of sub packages (playing over third-year man Ron Brace) and his presence was felt (2 tackles), as was his leadership in the locker room.
"Hopefully I’ll get another shot to fight and grind with this team because I know what the goal is in this organization," Warren said after the game.
At this stage of his career, Warren would likely be looking at a one-year contract closer to a minimum-salary level, with a chance to earn more in incentives. It makes sense to think the Patriots would entertain the possibility of bringing him back.
A 10-year veteran who has played with Cleveland (2001-2004), Denver (2005-2006), Oakland (2007-2009) and New England (2010-2011), Warren was playing in his first Super Bowl. Naturally, the loss stung.
"We just didn't make enough plays. Guys gave an all-out effort and we came up on the short end of the stick this time around," he said afterwards. "It was a heck of a ride to get here. Just didn’t end the way we wanted it to end."