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NFL Free Agency 2012: Jonathan Fanene Signs With Patriots

The New England Patriots wasted little time addressing their defensive issues during 2012 NFL free agency, reportedly inking former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Jonathan Fanene to a three-year deal on Wednesday.

Fanene, a 6-foot-4, 292-pounder who played his college football at Utah, registered a career-high 6.5 sacks to go along with 24 tackles last season in Cincinnati. The 29-year old was used primarily as a backup, but is adept against the run as well as the pass.

During his seven-year career, Fanene has totaled 66 tackles and 13.5 sacks. Yet it appears the Patriots value him highly.

The Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport reports that Fanene will receive a $3.85 million signing bonus, an indication that they do not take his talents lightly.

As the Patriots blog Pats Pulpit states:

That's a pretty big number, and it gives some type of indication about how much the Patriots value him. He's going to be an important contributor on the defensive line.

For more New England Patriots coverage, visit our team page and blog, Pats Pulpit.