Patriots sign veteran linebacker Dane Fletcher


Dane Fletcher is back where he started with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots signed the veteran linebacker to a one-year deal on Tuesday, the team announced.

The move adds depth to a linebacking unit that also inked another former Patriots linebacker last week in Brandon Spikes.

With Jerod Mayo (knee) and Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) recovering from major surgeries, Fletcher gives the team a dose of depth after starting four games at middle linebacker for the Buccaneers last season. His previous four years in New England saw Fletcher operate as a core contributor on special teams.

The addition does nothing to change how we see this starting lineup come September, with Hightower and Mayo manning the middle in between Jamie Collins and Rob Ninkovich. New England's rebuilt -- honestly, stripped down -- secondary remains the much bigger mystery heading into camp.

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