Patriots Free Agents: Re-Signing Versatile John Simon Would Be Smart Move For Pats

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Ahead of the official start of NFL free agency March 13, we’re taking a player-by-player look at the Patriots’ 2019 free agent class. 

Up next: defensive end/linebacker John Simon.

2018 stats: 17 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, three QB hits in 11 games

Potential competition: any team looking for veteran depth on the edge

Projected contract: two years, $4 million

Priority to re-sign: Moderate

Simon wouldn’t be considered one of the stars of the Patriots’ 2018 defense, but he played an important role in that group as a sub rusher and reserve linebacker after signing with the team in late September.

Playing both on and off the line, Simon was a staple in New England’s “amoeba” package, which gave opponents fits on third downs. The 28-year-old saw his role expand in the playoffs, logging 40 defensive snaps in the divisional round and 31 in the AFC Championship Game.

He tallied a tackle for loss against the Los Angeles Chargers, shared a sack of Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City and then broke up a Jared Goff pass in Super Bowl LIII. The championship was a career first for the journeyman, who previously spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.

Re-signing a versatile defender like Simon would be a smart and affordable move for New England, and according to the player himself, there’s a good chance he’ll be back in a Patriots uniform next season.

“There’s been some talks, and things look promising,” Simon told ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss last week. “I’m not going to comment on a lot of that stuff right now, but I enjoyed my time playing for Bill (Belichick). I think he’s a great coach and I’d definitely love to play for him again.”

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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