Veteran DE Chris Long visiting Patriots on Monday

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are loaded at defensive end, but they're going to take a closer look at possibly adding another well-known player to the mix.

The Patriots' initial interest in Chris Long was reported by Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. Monday's visit confirms it.

Long, who turns 31 on March 28, has played his entire career with the Rams, who drafted him No. 2 overall in 2008. The Rams released him on Feb. 19 and he reportedly would like to play for a contender.

Long totaled 20 sacks over the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but that total dipped to four over the 2014 and 2015 campaigns. Current Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly was Rams defensive line coach from 2009-2011.

The Patriots return starting defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, as well as top backup Jabaal Sheard and 2015 draft picks Geneo Grissom (third round) and Trey Flowers (fourth round).

Jones, Ninkovich and Sheard all enter the final year of their contracts.