In a move that seemed to be a long time coming, the Patriots acquired defensive lineman Derrick Burgess from the Oakland Raiders Thursday afternoon.
Christopher Price of WEEI.com reports that Burgess cost the team a 3rd round draft pick in 2010, and a 5th round selection in 2011.
The move bolsters a Patriots pass rush that was pretty week last season. They finished 2008 with just 31 sacks (14th in the NFL), almost half of the league leading Dallas Cowboys who had a total of 59 last season.
Despite playing in just 10 games last year, Burgess finished last season with 3.5 sacks, his lowest amount in 4 seasons. As bad as it was for Burgess, it was still ahead of several Patriots, including the likes of Mike Wright (2.5), Brandon Meriweather (2.0), Vince Wilfork (2.0), Jarvis Green (2.0), Ty Warren (2.0), Ellis Hobbs (1.5), and Pierre Woods (1.0). Last season it was Richard Seymour who lead the team with 8 sacks (tied with seven others for 17th in the NFL), while Adalius Thomas finished with 5.0, and former Patriot Mike Vrabel had 4. Vrabel’s trade to Kansas City further impaired their ability to get after the quarterback, and the pickup of Burgess helps address that problem.
The 6 feet 2 inch, 260lb Burgess is in his 9th season, starting his career in 2001 with the Philadelphia Eagles before going to Oakland in 2005 where he had his best season of his career, leading the NFL with 16 sacks. He had 11 in 2006, and eight in ’07 where he missed two games. If he can stay healthy he should be just what New England needed and will help put pressure on opposing QB’s – which even before Vrabel left they’ve been desperately needing.