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Patriots reportedly sign safety Patrick Chung to two-year contract extension

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Related: ‘Football can wait’: Patrick Chung shares his thoughts on Coronavirus isolation

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at New England Patriots Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In what seems like an annual tradition, the New England Patriots and safety Patrick Chung have worked on a new contract this spring. After the two sides reached contract extensions during both the 2018 and the 2019 offseasons, he has now reportedly signed another one: as first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, the team and the veteran safety have agreed to add two more years as well as a $3 million signing bonus to Chung’s current contract.

The deal itself, according to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, will create some short-term financial relief for the Patriots and increase their salary cap by $925,000 — an increase that should help the team sign its lone remaining draft pick, second-round safety Kyle Dugger, to his rookie pact. As for Chung, the deal gives him some short-term security and also essentially manifests his status as a roster lock heading into the 2020 season.

Adding two years to his existing deal now means that the 32-year-old is under contract through the 2023 season, although it remains to be seen whether or not he will actually be with the team that long. New England, after all, invested heavily in its safety position this offseason: the team re-signed fellow veteran Devin McCourty before free agency, brought Adrian Phillips and Cody Davis aboard, and drafted the aforementioned Kyle Dugger.

Chung, meanwhile, filled his usual role in the Patriots’ top-ranked scoring defense during the 2019 season: he served as the team’s number one strong safety and as such saw considerable action. While he did suffer rib and heel injuries along the way, he still appeared in 14 of New England’s 17 combined games and was a core member of the league’s best secondary — one that will be back for at least another year as this new deal shows.