Andrew Walter (Getty Images)
In signing Andrew Walter and releasing Matt Gutierrez, the Patriots put a priority on adding more experience behind quarterback Tom Brady.
Walter, who enters his fifth season and has nine career starts on his resume, has been on the field more than Gutierrez (0 starts). With projected No. 2 option Kevin O'Connell (0 starts) entering his second season -- and Brady returning from a serious knee injury -- adding a player who has started in regular-season action probably increases the team's comfort level at the position.
The club had also worked out five-year veteran Cleo Lemon last Friday.
Walter will likely slide into the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, although it's possible he could push O'Connell for the No. 2 role. When considering the statistics he compiled in Oakland (3 TDs, 16 INT), it should be noted that he had four different head coaches and multiple systems to learn, which are factors that can stunt development.
Making the move now will give Walter some time to digest parts of the playbook before the preseason opener Aug. 13.