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Patriots host free-agent lineman

Posted by Albert Breer  May 19, 2010 08:09 PM

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The Patriots hosted free-agent lineman/rock star Cory Procter on a visit today, according to a league source.

Let me explain ... Procter, who's spent the last five years in Dallas, is the drummer for Free Reign, a band with his ex-Cowboy teammates Marc Colombo (a Bridgewater native) and Leonard "Bigg" Davis. And so if he comes to New England, he could be fairly, um, versatile.

More seriously, Procter's been a steady backup at both center and guard for the Cowboys over the last three years. He was originally plucked off the Lions practice squad in 2005, but didn't really make his mark in Dallas until 2007, when he became the top backup to Pro Bowlers Davis and Andre Gurode, as well as Kyle Kosier, at the interior spots.

So why did the Cowboys cut him loose? Money. Procter was tendered at the second-round level ($1.759 million) in February as a restricted free agent, he signed the contract, and the team tried unsuccessfully to trade him. That precipitated his release, particularly with backup guard Montrae Holland just inked to a two-year deal.

The Patriots would likely have Procter in as an insurance policy, with Logan Mankins staying away from the team's offseason program. Dan Connolly was the team's top backup at the interior line positions last year, and 2009 fourth-round pick Rich Ohrnberger and rookie Ted Larsen will contend for roster spots in those types of roles.

Procter has already visited with the Broncos, and is now off to Miami, where his old Dallas line coach, Tony Sparano, is the head coach. He's set up to meet with the Dolphins people tomorrow. ESPN Boston was first to report on Procter's visit.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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