Veteran offensive tackle Mark LeVoir has been released by the New England Patriots, he will hit the market as a free agent once he clears waivers tomorrow morning.
Originally entering the league as undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears in 2006, LeVoir was picked up by the Patriots in 2008 by way of the St. Louis Rams.
He appeared in all sixteen regualr seasons games for the Patriots that season, making two starts, although since playing in primarily a backup role because of injury and depth at both tackle positions.
LeVoir is only 29 and is versatile enough to play both tackle positions on the offensive line, as well as guard. New England wasn’t expected to release him, but apparently they are making way for younger talent.
In the Patriots preseason opener Steve Maneri, a second-year undrafted player, stood out making several key blocks down the field.
Maneri will probably become the top backup on the right side behind Nick Kaczur, while Sebastian Vollmer will backup Matt Light on the left side, leaving LeVoir as the odd man out.
Recently the Saints parted ways with veteran right tackle Jon Stinchcomb, who’s play has been declining since his 2009 Pro Bowl season.
Zach Strief, a long time backup, will compete with Charles Brown for the starting role. Brown was drafted in the second round last year and was originally slated to become a left tackle, that position though is held by Jermon Bushrod on the Saints offensive line.
Depth could be an are of concern for the Saints as Alex Barron has been battling a left meniscus injury. He is listed as the top backup at left tackle, but played right tackle last season with the Cowboys.
Former first round pick George Foster was also signed around the same time as Barron, but is listed currently as the top backup at right tackle behind Strief. Foster has had problems throughout his pro career with penalties and may not make the final roster.
LeVour could provide valuable dept, not to mentions compete for a starting role. Head coach Sean Payton and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick are good friends that trust each others ability to evaluate talent.
New Orleans has not shied away from picking up ex-Patriots in the past. His addition certainly makes sense for the Saints, as does his versatility for depth given the questions surrounding Barron and Foster.