James Ihedigbo is heading home.
After four seasons with the Jets, the Amherst, Mass., native and former UMass standout has signed with the Patriots. Ihedigbo was a Division I-AA All-American safety in college, but the Jets primarily used him as a special teamer.
The Patriots have had problems with their depth at safety during training camp. Patrick Chung has been a standout, but James Sanders has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and Brandon Meriweather's performance has been up and down. Sergio Brown, who went undrafted in 2010, has made strides in his second season.
Bret Lockett appeared to suffer a groin injury Thursday during the Patriots' victory against the Buccaneers, and Josh Barrett hasn't practiced since July 31 due to an undisclosed injury. In addition the team released Brandon McGowan early in camp and attempted to sign free agent Dashon Goldson before the fifth-year safety chose to re-sign with the 49ers.
While Ihedigbo can play safety, his fate will mostly be determined by his prowess on special teams. He'll have three weeks to prove he deserves a spot on the Patriots' initial active roster.