After spending the majority of the last three seasons with the New York Jets, Harvey Langi has returned to the New England Patriots. The former rookie free agent out of Brigham Young was re-signed to a reported one-year contract on Monday, bolstering the Patriots’ depth both at the linebacker position and in the kicking game.
Langi’s return is not the first of its kind this offseason, though. In fact, he is just the latest of four players who re-joined New England over the last two months.
OT Trent Brown: The first former Patriot to return to the fold this year, Brown originally joined the team via trade from the San Francisco 49ers in 2018. He went on to serve as the team’s starting left tackle during its Super Bowl run that year, and subsequently signed a record-breaking deal with the then-Oakland Raiders. After two injury-filled seasons, however, he was put on the trading block: New England brought him back on a reworked contract by exchanging a fifth- for a seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft.
LB Kyle Van Noy: Van Noy was a key member of the Patriots’ linebacker corps since joining the team via trade from the Detroit Lions in 2016. But while he won two Super Bowls in New England, he decided to leave for greener pastures last offseason: Van Noy signed a four-year, $51 million contract with the Miami Dolphins. Despite receiving $30 million in guarantees and earning captain’s honors on an impressive defense, Miami cut him in March. Nine days later, he was back with the Patriots via a two-year contract.
C Ted Karras: Karras’ story is similar to Van Noy’s. He left the Patriots last offseason to join the Dolphins, was named a captain in his first season and played a prominent role for the team, but was ultimately not retained this year. Instead of re-signing in Miami, Karras returned to the team that gave him his NFL start back in 2016: after already spending the first four years of his career in New England, he re-joined the Patriots on a one-year free agency contract in March.
LB Harvey Langi: After going undrafted in 2017, Langi started his NFL career with the Patriots and promptly made their 53-man roster. However, he and his wife, Cassidy, were involved in a car crash in mid-October which forced him to end his rookie campaign on the reserve/non-football injury list. Langi was let go on 2018 roster cutdown day, and went on to join the Jets. He played 30 games for the organization but was not tendered as a restricted free agent earlier this year, paving the way for his return to New England.
Seeing players return to New England, or any team for that matter, is nothing new. Players such as Patrick Chung, Deion Branch, Jamie Collins, Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette Blount and Benjamin Watson all did it. While those are the best-case examples — they played important roles for the team during their second stints — others have had limited success: Andre Carter, Donté Stallworth or Martellus Bennett did not tip the scales after coming back to their old stomping grounds.
As for Langi and the other three mentioned above, the Patriots obviously hope that they will eventually fall into the first rather than the second category this year.