2012 NFL Free Agency: Patriots Sign Jonathan Fanene To 3-Year Deal

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked for a loss in the second quarter by Jonathan Fanene #68 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

According to Joe Reedy, the New England Patriots have signed Cincinnati Bengals free agent defensive end Jonathan Fanene to a three-year deal.

Jonathan Fanene is off to New England. He has agreed to a three-year deal 1 minute ago via TweetDeck · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Fanene had 6.5 sacks, the second most behind Geno Atkins, in 2011 and the Patriots are in need of players that are able to get to the quarterback. The Patriots had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL throughout the regular season and one way to offset an unproductive secondary is to find players that can pressure quarterbacks.

A seventh-round pick in the 2005 draft, Fanene has been with the Bengals for his entire career and had done a good job as a backup defensive end and as a starter. He has made 103 tackles in his career, made 6.5 sacks and even picked off a pass and ran it back for a touchdown.

Fanene will be missed as he supplied great depth on the defensive line, which was the strength of the team's top-10 defense in 2011. We wish him the best of luck in the future with the Patriots.

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