The Patriots are in the running for Bengals free agent defensive end Jonathan Fanene, a league source confirmed
Fanene had a good season for the Bengals in 2011, sacking opposing quarterbacks 6.5 times while playing in a backup role. He had a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 0.5 and was surprisingly better in run defense than as a pass rusher. The Patriots are in need of players that are able to get to the quarterback and if they promise Fanene that he will get a bigger role (and of course, more money), he could very easily sign with them.
The Bengals are likely interested in keeping Fanene around, as they are with Frostee Rucker and other players. However, Fanene isn't likely going to be a starter with the Bengals at defensive end unless they are unable to find anybody else, like Rucker (if they re-sign him), Michael Johnson (if he earns his job back) or if they draft somebody.