When the Patriots lost middle linebacker Jerod Mayo to injury, there was a report that said the team was considering going after Derrick Brooks.
Privately, I wondered if they would first ask recently retired linebacker Tedy Bruschi if he wanted to return to the field.
Well, Bruschi and Brooks will end up as teammates in the end — sort of. Brooks agreed to join the Worldwide Leader, taking a position with ESPN2’s First Take as an NFL analyst. (Let’s just hope he’s not reduced to a yelling match with Skip Bayless.)
ESPN isn’t wasting any time putting Brooks to work; he’ll be involved in a chat Thursday.
One question that has already been answered is whether this means Brooks is tacitly admitting his playing career is over.
“I’m not retiring,” Brooks said Wednesday. “I told ESPN I would do this until I sign with a team.”
No NFL player has engendered and deserved more respect than Brooks over the last 14 years, but it’s clear there isn’t great interest in his services right now.
Linebacker-needy teams such as the Bears and Saints passed on signing him after serious injuries at the position. If the Patriots do the same, it’s fair to wonder if Brooks will be sticking in Bristol, Connecticut indefinitely.