With a whole heap of uncertainty in the Patriots' linebacking corps due to Jerod Mayo's injury, Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio and Co. are taking stock of their options.

One possibility is free agent Derrick Brooks, and according to the Boston Herald, acquiring the former Buccaneer is more than just a theory.

A source told the Herald's Ian Rappaport that the Patriots are "kicking it around." Brooks, 36, was a defensive leader in Tampa Bay, getting named to 11 Pro Bowls (including last year) and once earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2002. Since playing in 13 games in his rookie season in 1995, Brooks has played in 16 games every single season, compiling 13 1/2 sacks, 25 interceptions and more than 1,700 tackles. However, he has not recorded a sack since 2005.

After the Chicago Bears lost Brian Urlacher for the season on Sunday night, some believed the Bears would go after Brooks. Bears coach Lovie Smith, however, said that adding Brooks would hinder the development of his younger players.