Aug 11, 2011; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings (23) is tackled by New England Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher (52) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots re-sign Restricted Free Agent Fletcher


Despite outside opinions to the contrary, the New England Patriots are not objectionable to spending money, they just want to make sure they get what they pay for…

…and that’s is exactly what Dane Fletcher is going to make sure they get.

The linebacker and the team came together today on a one year contract for the restricted free agent who spent last season on the Injured Reserved list with a torn ACL…and while terms of the deal have not been made public, Fletcher is concerned with only one thing: paying off a self-imposed debt.

“I think the proof will be in the pudding when next year arises and people and all the fans will see how much time I’ve spent in the offseason preparing for this year. I’m putting everything I have in to it, which I feel I owe to myself, my family and Patriots fans.”

Fletcher was considered to be at the top of the linebacker depth chart in camp, and would have been a valued starter in the stead of both Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower, both in sub packages and when they missed time with injuries.  Not having Fletcher available in those instances brought his value into focus – and the Patriots weren’t going to let him take offers from other teams.

As is typical with Patriots players, Fletcher wouldn’t divulge anything about his deal or how far along he is in recovering from the ACL injury, but hinted that he’s ready to go.

“Now I’m ready to get into shape and get after it in the weight room and on the field, and put a good year together,” he said. “The main thing is that I’m excited to be back with the squad of guys we’ve got, and excited to get back on the field again.”

He did reflect a bit on the work he’s had to put in to get back on the field, which confirmed what most fans already knew.

“It’s just been a grind, because I’m not the kind of guy who sits back and takes time off.”

And it’s that attitude and hard work that the Patriots wanted to make sure stayed with the team.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Dane Fletcher New England Patriots