Lemon expected to join Patriots

Updated: August 2, 2009, 1:03 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The New England Patriots, in the market for a backup quarterback, have worked out NFL veteran Cleo Lemon and are expected to sign him.

Lemon was the quarterback who had a mid-afternoon workout Friday. There had been reports the Patriots worked out Michael Vick, but Lemon was the quarterback who was on the field throwing with front office people watching. Vick was in Virginia at a bankruptcy court hearing.

The Patriots were in contract talks with Lemon on Saturday afternoon.

A Lemon signing could mean the Patriots won't bring in Vick. Coach Bill Belichick didn't rule out interest in Vick, but he also wouldn't say they were interested on Friday.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft had this to say regarding signing Vick on Sirius Radio Saturday: "For us that's an academic problem because we've got the No. 1 player at that position [quarterback] in the world as far as I'm concerned. Why would ever want to do anything that would take him off the field for one play?"

Lemon is a 29-year-old veteran who has played for the Ravens, Chargers, Dolphins and Jaguars.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer