Pisa Tinoisamoa headed East but that trip did not take him to Philadelphia.
The free-agent linebacker visited the New England Patriots today as the Tribune reported earlier. Tinoisamoa is one of two linebackers the team brought has brought in recently. The Patriots also checked out Paris Lenon, who played middle linebacker in Detroit for Rod Marinelli, according to an NFL source.
The Pats are the third team Tinoisamoa has visited and it remains possible that he will visit the Eagles. He could choose between those four teams in the next week. It's not believed that the Bears have made a contract offer to Tinoisamoa, who was released by St. Louis on May 8 after the Rams were unable to trade him. Tinoisamoa became the first rookie in Rams' franchise history to lead the team in tackles in 2003 playing under Lovie Smith and Bob Babich.
While the Bears are looking at Tinoisamoa as a strong-side linebacker, the position he played for Smith and Babich in St. Louis, New England is on the lookout for an inside linebacker to help its 3-4 scheme. If size is a question for Tinoisamoa in the Bears' scheme, it certainly is playing inside for the Patriots. He was listed by the Rams at 6-1, 240 pounds, but reportedly played closer to 225 pounds last season in St. Louis. That right there might make Lenon, who is listed at 6-2, 235 pounds, a better fit. Of course, his listed size could be off too.
Like Tinoisamoa, Lenon led his team in tackles last season. New England has a void as rookie Tyrone McKenzie is out with a torn ACL and veteran Mike Vrabel was dealt to Kansas City in the Matt Cassel trade.
For Tinoisamoa it's about finding the right fit. The best move for him might be to sign a one-year contract. That way he can prove his value and then have a better opportunity on the open market at the beginning of free agency next season. A prove-it deal also protects the team while giving them the first chance to extend him with a longterm contract.
Tinoisamoa visited Buffalo before coming to the Bears OTA last Wednesday. He received a physical on his visit.