Chicago Sun-Times

Patriots kick the tires on 2 linebackers--Tinoisamoa, Lenon

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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.

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If Chicago signs free agent linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, so be it, if not, it's not the end of the world. You have to ask yourself, if the Bears were so big on Tinoisamoa after he came in for an interview [so to speak], why wasn't he given a contract offer?

I agree that you have to try and upgrade during the off-season. And maybe Tinoismaoa would be an upgrade, maybe not? My question is, after the Bears seen their current linebackers [who are potential starters on the strongside] players like Nick Roach, Jamar Williams, and rookie Marcus Freeman running around, maybe Chicago felt Tinoisamoa wasn't as big of a need as they first thought he was?

I'm not totally sold on Tinoismaoa because of his durability problems. I read where a guy said yesterday injuries are bad luck, yeah, maybe one time, but when you miss as much time over a two year period like Tinoismaoa did, its called being injury prone. But I do agree, being injury prone is bad luck....for the team.

I just think a player like Nick Roach might be just as good. A lot of people are hard on Roach saying he's not that good. A lot of fans don't know about player development. Last season was Roach's first time as a starter, I think he will continue to improve in his second season as a starter, let him develop before saying he sucks. Also, you want a strongside backer that can cover, I've read where more than one insider has said Jamar Williams was breaking up passes left and right during the last couple OTA's, maybe Williams is worth a look. Some fans think rookie Marcus Freeman might not be ready. Some guy even said, how could he develop as a stronside backer only being on the field for an avg of two downs? I say, remember Lance Briggs [not saying Freeman is the next Briggs], if you remember Briggs started out as a strongside linebacker, in 2003 as a rookie Briggs started at strongside linebacker for the Bears. So maybe Freeman? Freeman was a 5th rounder, but Jerry Angelo said had Freeman come out last season he might of gone in the 3rd round. I'll support Tinoismaoma if the Bears sign him, I just don't think its that big of a need GO BEARS!!

PFT and the Trib are reporting that Lennon signed with the Pats. I'm all for the team signing serviceable, quality players like Tinoisamoa, to create competition in camp.

Hopefully J.A. can move some of the players for mid to late round picks to teams with injury needs during the middle of camp. By improving the overall talent base, maybe they can get some value in return for guys that may otherwise have been cut.

are you kidding me this is another one of Angelo's screw ups he should have never let Pisa Tinoisamoa leave Halas Hall we need him so bad this is a need that we have had for a while and when you get the oppritunity to grab a veteran that is fairly young but has the experiance he has you don't let it slip away.

I can't see Pisa sticking with New England. Belichick likes linebackers who will take on blockers on the inside, and larger players on the outside who can engage tackles and overpower backs and tight ends. Tinoisamoa doesn't fit the profile. Lenon really doesn't either, but he fits more of the mold of the inside guy. Unless the Pats are going to start moving to a smaller, faster defense, which would really not work with the 3-4, they would not need either of these guys for any more than special teams or nickel/dime packages

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 26, 2009 5:31 PM.

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