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2021 NFL free agency: Patriots sign defensive tackle Henry Anderson to a two-year, $7 million contract

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New York Jets v Washington Redskins Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are not done adding talent to their 2021 roster. After bringing in six free agents earlier on Monday, they added a seventh to the equation now: as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots and defensive tackle Henry Anderson have agreed on a two-year contract worth $7 million.

Anderson originally joined the NFL as a third-round draft selection by the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, and went on to appear in 29 games for the club over three seasons. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound defender was eventually traded to the New York Jets in 2018. After his release from the Jets earlier this offseason — meaning that he will not count against the compensatory draft picks formula — he will now stay in the AFC East.

While Anderson is not a a natural fit to fill the nose tackle position the Patriots struggled to fill in 2020, he is still an intriguing addition as an end in the team’s 3-4-based fronts. New England failed to win a the point of attack repeatedly in 2020, and Anderson has proven himself capable of doing that especially versus the run: while his pass rush contributions were comparatively inconsistent, Anderson recorded the third-highest run-stuff percentage in 2020, according to NFL NextGen Stats.

Anderson now joins a free agency class so far consisting of fellow defensive tackle Davon Godchaux as well as tight end Jonnu Smith, linebacker Matthew Judon, defensive back Jalen Mills and wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.


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