New England Patriots free agency 2018: 5 potential upgrades at linebacker

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Dont'a Hightower
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Dont'a Hightower /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Paul Worrilow

If this name sounds familiar, it’s because the Patriots showed interest in Paul Worrilow last season.

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The 27-year-old linebacker ended up signing with the Detroit Lions after spending his previous four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, including the team that met the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

With his best season coming in 2014 in which he had 84 total tackles and 2.0 sacks, Worrilow is the type of linebacker who could serve as a Rob Ninkovich type hybrid player when healthy.

At the very least, he could play a similar role to that as Shea McClellin if the Patriots decide to move on from the veteran linebacker as a cap casualty.

If that does happen, a player like Worrilow could be a cheaper option at the linebacker position.  Although he only recorded 30 total tackles in eight games started last season with the Lions, Paul Worrilow could return to the player he was in 2014 and 2015 for Atlanta.

Put in the right position, he could be a pleasant surprise for the money spent.