The Patriots addressed one of their biggest needs heading into the 2020 NFL Draft by selecting three linebackers last month.
But prior to the draft, New England might have been exploring other options to bolster the position group.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Thursday released a story highlighting the five most intriguing draft classes this year. Fowler included the Patriots, with a focus on their selection of Josh Uche, a do-it-all ‘backer who New England traded up in the second round to land.
Within Fowler’s notes on Uche was a nugget on the Patriots’ reported prior interest in a veteran linebacker.
“There was some leaguewide buzz that the Patriots considered signing free agent Clay Matthews for pass-rushing help, but that was before they landed outside linebacker Josh Uche out of Michigan in the second round, No. 60 overall,” Fowler wrote.
Matthews was released by the Rams days into the new NFL year. The 33-year-old was solid in his lone season in Los Angeles, registering eight sacks despite missing three games due to a broken jaw. The six-time Pro Bowl selection remains unsigned as of Thursday morning.
It’s tough to imagine the Patriots will bring in Matthews at this point, but it would have been rather on-brand for Bill Belichick to get the most out of a player in the twilight years of his career.