The Patriots have signed veteran defensive tackle Marcus Stroud to a two-year contract, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter this afternoon.
Stroud, a 10-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowl selection, was recently released by the Bills after three seasons in Buffalo. It is because he was released by the Bills -- and not scheduled to become a free agent due to an expired contract -- that the Pats were able to sign him. Teams have until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, the time the current CBA expires, to sign players that have been released by other clubs or re-sign their own free agents.
Though he has shown to be more effective as a tackle in a 4-3 system, Stroud (No. 99 in this photo) embraced the challenge of moving to end when Buffalo converted to a 3-4. His success on a four-man line may mean that Stroud will be used in sub-packages for the Pats, when they have four down linemen, or perhaps when they use a 2-5 alignment.
Stroud is also adept to batting down passes at the line of scrimmage thanks to his 6-foot-6 size.
And there's one thing he brings to a team no matter what the scheme: he's a solid teammate and locker room presence.
The 32-year-old Stroud was scheduled to make $4.5 million with Buffalo next season according to ESPN's report.
Stroud entered the NFL as the 13th overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars -- seven picks after the Patriots selected his college teammate, Richard Seymour.
Last season, Stroud had three sacks and 49 tackles in 15 games while spending most of his time at end in the Bills' 3-4 defensive scheme. Stroud set his career-high in sacks in 2002 with 6.5.