East County Sports

Local NFL vet Lindley signs with Patriots

Seeking depth at quarterback, the New England Patriots signed veteran Ryan Lindley on Monday.

The Patriots signed the former El Capitan High and San Diego State quarterback after releasing Matt Flynn.

New England is facing the possibility of playing the regular season’s first four games without starting signal-caller Tom Brady due to a suspension for his role in Deflategate.

With Brady’s status uncertain, the Patriots will likely turn to second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting gig at the start of the year. But the team would need an additional quarterback if Brady remains suspended for any length of time in the regular season.

Lindley has completed 50.8 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 264 attempts. He started the last three games of 2014 for the Arizona Cardinals, including the playoff loss against the Carolina Panthers, going 0-3 in that span.

Lindley was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent part of the 2014 season on the San Diego Chargers’ practice squad before re-signing with the Cardinals.

The Patriots likely need someone to take reps in practice and back up Garoppolo early in the regular season if Brady’s suspension remains in place.

Lindley commented on his negative reputation among fans earlier this summer:

“You see the best and the worst of people on social media. There are so many great things you see … but there’s also a free-for-all for the faceless masses to spout about whatever they want to say.

“I’m at a point in my life where, thankfully, I’m not putting a whole lot of stock into what’s going on outside of my camp, really. I’ve been through enough to know that if I wake up in the morning and look myself in the mirror and know my family is proud of me and my wife still loves me, then life’s good.”

Even though New England is likely bringing in the 26-year-old Lindley in as a stopgap quarterback, his playing for the Patriots in the preseason can increase his exposure to other teams.

A good performance could help him remain with the club all year or land another job later in the season that he might not have otherwise gotten.

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