Things can change quickly in the NFL: one day, you’re thinking about hanging up your cleats to retire; the next, you’re signing a new multi-year contract extension. Such appears to be the case with New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung, at least if a recent report by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler is to be believed. According to Fowler, Chung did consider stepping away from the game earlier this offseason before ultimately changing his mind.
Earlier on Wednesday, finally, the 32-year-old agreed to add two more years to his current contract and stay under contract with the Patriots through the 2023 season.
There is no telling how accurate Fowler’s report actually is, and whether or not Chung realistically thought about retiring after spending the last 11 seasons playing one of the most physically taxing positions in all of sports. However, a retirement would not have been all that surprising considering the circumstances: Chung has played a lot of football since joining the league in 2009, and has reached the pinnacle of the sport multiple times.
All in all, he appeared in a combined 176 regular season and playoff games between stints in New England and Philadelphia, and was an integral part of three Super Bowl-winning teams. Furthermore, he has earned over $31 million in contractual money alone, according to calculations done by Over The Cap. Add an injury history that includes three reported concussions, a broken forearm, as well as multiple shoulder and foot injuries, and you get why he would consider retiring instead of returning for Year 12.
However, Chung apparently is willing to continue his career at least for another year: his recent extension effectively makes him a lock to be on the Patriots’ roster for the 2020 season, and he still appears to be held in high regards by the team. The end will come sooner rather than later for the former second-round draft pick, and possibly before the conclusion of his deal, but for now New England can continue to count on him.