Originally written on Foxboro Blog  |  Last updated 11/17/14

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 27: Justin Smiley #65 of the Miami Dolphins attempts to recover the fumble in the end zone by Ronnie Brown and Steve Gregory #28 of the Sand Diego Chargers during first quarter of the NFL football game as at Qualcomm Stadium on September 27, 2009 in San Diego, California. Smiley recovered the ball out of bounce for a turning the ball over to the Chargers. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

While it may not be the big splash Patriots fans were hoping for, Bill Belichick appears to have found a new starting safety in six-year veteran Steve Gregory. 

The former Charger brings starting experience, versatility and athleticism to a cripplingly-bad group of safeties from 2011. 

In 15 games, Gregory recorded 67 tackles and a pick. His best season came in 2009 when he posted 71 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one interception and six passes defended. 

Reports have stated that Gregory should be a candidate to start at free safety next to Pat Chung. He also has the capability of playing slot corner and is regarded as a strong special teams player. 

According to reports, he signed a three-year, $8.5 million contract with $3.35 million guaranteed. 

In addition to Gregory, the Patriots re-signed one of their own, bringing back center/guard Dan Connolly. Terms of the deal have not been released, but his return would probably mean an end of an era for Dan Koppen. The longtime starting center missed most of last season with an ankle injury and is an unrestricted free agent. 

The Pats also re-signed Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater and linebacker Tracy White earlier in the week, and added versatile defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene to bolster their depth. Fanene recorded 6.5 sacks last season for the Bengals and is regarded for his motor and versatility. 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.