Robert Gallery & Pats o-line

Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network tweeted today that the Patriots have agreed to a contract with offensive lineman Robert Gallery.

ESPNBoston.com has confirmed it's a one-year agreement in principle.

The agreement brings back memories of a news conference with Bill Belichick prior to the 2004 draft. At the news conference, Belichick was asked who he would select if he had the first overall draft choice.

His answer: Gallery.

Belichick's respect for Gallery and his college program at Iowa was evident at that time, and now, per Lombardi's tweet, Belichick has decided to bring the big blocker aboard. The 6-foot-7, 325-pound Gallery has played for the Raiders (2004-2010) and Seahawks (2011), and has experience at tackle and guard.

With Patriots starting left tackle Matt Light strongly considering retirement, according to a source, and veteran right guard Brian Waters saying after the Super Bowl that he had weigh his football future, Gallery adds some veteran insurance up front.

It likely isn't a big-money deal, as Gallery would become the eighth free agent from another team to join the Patriots.

Yes, Bill Belichick is loading up.