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2021 NFL free agency: Patriots to re-sign veteran defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. to four-year contract

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Update 3/15/2021: Patriots to re-sign veteran defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. to four-year contract

While the original reports of Deatrich Wise Jr’s new contract with the Patriots did not involve any figures, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo noted on Monday that it will be a four-year pact with a maximum value of $30 million and $10 million in guarantees. As with all contracts, the structure will determine how much is hits New England’s salary cap, but the raw figures look quite solid from Wise’s perspective.

Original story 3/15/2021: Patriots to re-sign veteran defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr.

The New England Patriots’ busy first day of legal tampering continues. After already making four outside additions — tight end Jonnu Smith, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, linebacker Matt Judon, defensive back Jalen Mills — and seeing guard Joe Thuney depart for Kansas City, the Patriots have now retained one of their own free agents: as first reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. will return to New England.

Wise Jr. joined the Patriots via the fourth round of the NFL’s 2017 draft. One of a league-low four players selected by New England that year, he was the only member of the group to make the team’s 53-man roster his rookie season — a sign of things to come: Wise Jr. is not just the most productive member of the Patriots’ draft class to this day, but the only one to stay with the team through all four of his seasons as a pro and beyond.

All in all, he has appeared in 62 regular season games and five postseason contests so far, and also played a prominent role during the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl 53. Along the way, Wise Jr. proved himself a solid and versatile member of the team’s defensive front-seven: after starting out as more of a edge defender in New England’s 4-3-based defense of the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he morphed into more of a interior lineman — primarily aligning as an end in 3-4 looks — over his last two years.

While not a starting-level player, Wise Jr. still accumulated a total of 16 sacks since joining the Patriots and also developed nicely as a big-bodied run defender. For a player who saw 130 others come off the board before him in the draft, his NFL résumé certainly is a solid one. Now, he will get a chance to add to it while remaining in a familiar environment.

Wise Jr. is the third member of the Patriots’ own free agency class to re-sign over the last week. Quarterback Cam Newton returned on a one-year, $5 million contract while special teamer Justin Bethel signed a three-year, $6 million deal to stay with the organization.


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