Gocong a fit for Patriots?

Eagles linebacker Chris Gocong will become a restricted free agent. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)

Some quick links to pass along this afternoon:

* Eagles linebacker Chris Gocong is scheduled to become a restricted free agent. He was benched towards the latter part of last season and didn't play well when he was on the field as the strong-side linebacker. Sean McDermott even tried him in the middle, which was a disaster, although in Gocong's defense, it was probably an unfair request at the time. The Eagles have never been able to figure out the right way to use him, which is why this note from Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England is so interesting.

Curran covers the Patriots and thinks Gocong could be a perfect fit in their 3-4 defensive system:

If there were one defensive player I’d like to see the Patriots target this offseason, it wouldn’t be Julius Peppers or Karlos Dansby. It would be Chris Gocong. The 26-year-old Eagles strongside linebacker is a restricted free agent who’s fallen into disuse with the Eagles in their 4-3 system. A terrific pass rusher in college at Cal-Poly, the Eagles haven’t had him in that role. But at 6-2, 263 pounds, Gocong could be a weapon in the 3-4, using his ability to come off the edge and his ability to drop in coverage when needed. He’s very instinctive and is the kind of Mike Vrabel-type signing that would have more value than a big-ticket guy who does victory laps for half of his deal.

It will be interesting to see if Gocong finds success in another system that uses him differently than the Eagles.

*At least one person thinks the Eagles should sign veteran running back Thomas Jones if the Jets release him. Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post thinks Jones and LeSean McCoy could be the right 1-2 punch for the Birds:

If Jones becomes available, sign him (or, at the very least, bring in a physical, downhill runner who can lower his shoulder and hit the hole). Then, commit and divide 400 carries between him and McCoy. This keeps Jones fresh for the season and limits the wear on McCoy for the future.

* Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wonders whether the Vikings would be a good fit for Brian Westbrook:

Westbrook certainly is familiar with the West Coast offense the Vikings run -- there are differences between what the Vikings and Eagles do -- and in his prime he was a very good receiver out of the backfield. The issue is that Westbrook missed nine games last season.

That 71-yard Westbrook touchdown on a screen pass in the 2009 playoffs is probably slightly underrated when looking back on his career. The Eagles had just a 16-14 lead in the fourth quarter at the time. The Birds would of course beat the Giants the next week before losing to the Cardinals in the NFC championship.

Back with more later, including the first part of our Draft Diary series, which will profile South Florida wide receiver Carlton Mitchell as he takes the journey to the next level.

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