The Patriots hosted Deshea Townsend on a free-agent visit to Gillette Stadium four years ago, and it appears possible the team could be considering the veteran cornerback again this offseason.
According to ESPN.com's Mike Reiss, the Patriots could sign Townsend this time around.
The Steelers re-signed Townsend in 2006, but Pittsburgh reportedly will not offer him a contract before the start of free agency this year.
The 34-year-old cornerback recorded 24 tackles in 13 games last year. The veteran has 21 interceptions and 15 1/2 sacks in 12 NFL seasons.
Townsend could provide depth to the Patriots secondary and would bring veteran leadership to a team that desperately needs it.
The NFL's free-agency period begins March 5.