The Patriots signed DL Santonio Thomas to the 53-man active roster the day before the Super Bowl, but then declared him inactive for the game.
That led to an obvious question: Why activate Thomas if the team had no plans to use him in the game?
The move was made with the future in mind, as the contract Thomas signed was a pact through the 2008 season, ensuring he'll be with the club when the new league year starts in early March.
With backup nose tackle Rashad Moore their lone free agent on the d-line, here is a look at the Patriots' defensive linemen under contract for 2008:
Jarvis Green (2009)
Richard Seymour (2009)
Le Kevin Smith (2009)
Santonio Thomas (2008)
Vince Wilfork (2009)
Ty Warren (2013)
Mike Wright (restricted free agent)