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Patriots re-sign safety James Ihedigbo

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  June 22, 2012 04:08 PM

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The Patriots announced the re-signing of safety James Ihedigbo.

This isn't much of a surprise. The team really liked what he brought last season as an in-the-box safety, but he struggled with a chronic shoulder injury that was operated on after the season. Ihedigbo just recently became healthy.

It will be interesting to see how he fits, but he'll likely have to battle for a roster spot. The Patriots will likely keep just four, possibly five. The team had veteran cornerback Will Allen playing safety during the off-season practices. This could signal a move back to cornerback for Allen, where the cornerback depth is a little thin.

Here's how we see the safeties matched with skill set:

Free safety

Steve Gregory
Josh Barrett
Will Allen
Sergio Brown
Ross Ventrone

Strong safety

Patrick Chung
James Ihedigbo
Nate Ebner

Both spots

Tavon Wilson

Basically, beyond Chung, Gregory and Wilson, it's wide open for one, possibly two spots. Barrett is the better athlete and more versatile, but will he breakthrough this season?

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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