The Patriots are signing free agent defensive lineman John Hughes, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). New England created a roster spot earlier today by waiving defensive tackle Anthony Johnson.
Hughes, a 2012 draftee, started just seven games in his first three seasons with the Browns and landed on IR in 2014 after suffering an MCL injury. The former third-round pick appeared in all 16 regular season games in 2015 and made three starts, totaling 24 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, and one forced fumble. Cleveland cut him last week in order to create a roster spot for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.
A report earlier today suggested that the Patriots wanted to “bulk up” their defensive line, and Hughes — who stands 6’2″, 320 pounds — will certainly help them do that. Notably, New England won’t use the roster spot created by Johnson’s vacancy to add a free agent quarterback, lending more credence to the notion that at least one of Jimmy Garoppolo or Jacoby Brissett will be ready for Week 4.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.