After the Bills announced on Monday that they were moving on without DE Aaron Schobel, it was seemingly only a matter of time until the released him. And on Wednesday, the team did just that, letting go of the 10-year veteran. Speculation about the Patriots' interest in the pass rusher started immediately on Monday, so by the time the move was made official, that talk was only multiplied.
ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss laid out a strong argument as to why New England needs to go after Schobel and try to sign the new free agent. But for the time being, the Patriots are only going through their "normal procedure."
"I think, this time of the year, any player that gets released, we kind of go through our normal procedure, our normal process, as far as evaluating a player, figuring out exactly what his skills are and how that would fit. He's no different than any other player that gets released this time of the year. We'll do our due diligence here moving forward and we'll see how it all comes together at some point."
Pats Pulpit is pushing for at least a pursuit of Schobel, too, saying, "It's hard not to agree that this move seems like a slam dunk." Mixed sports analogies aside, they make a good case.
Regardless of Schobel's age, you cannot disqualify the effect of playing on a good team could have on him. Clearly he's at a stage in his career where he'll want to go to a team that can win the Super Bowl in the next season or two.
The Patriots could extend his career by using him in the role they used Derrick Burgess in last season. Mostly hand down pass rushing, which Schobel is used to, with a sprinkling of linebacker or defensive end when needed and as he picks up the defense.
The community at Pats Pulpit agrees: with 644 votes tallied, a whopping 95% feel that the Patriots pursue Aaron Schobel.