The hunt for a replacement for Rodney Harrisonin the Patriots defense may not take all that long and may result in the return of a familiar face. John Lynch was cut by the Pats just before the season started and speculation is that he'll be rejoining the team this week. Pro Football Talk reports that Lynch was seen at Logan Airport and Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe is thinking that way as well.
When Lynch got cut, all parties said they were open to a return and a recent Rick Reilly article positioned Lynch as eager to continue his NFL career. He'd fit seamlessly into Harrison's role as veteran and emotional leader of the defense. He's still a sure tackler and would help in the run defense.
There are downsides to Lynch, however. He couldn't cover anyone in the passing game last season and teams would certainly try to isolate him in man coverage. An already iffy Patriot secondary couldn't afford to play with a safety who is easily burnt which would mean that Lynch's role couldn't be as an every down safety.
He's the kind of player Bill Belichick would trust, though, something that would be hard to find among other available players. That would likely trump any concerns about his pass defense and make it more likely than not that Lynch will be with the Pats soon.