Raekwon McMillan will remain in the New England Patriots’ plans for 2022.
The Patriots have signed the veteran linebacker to a one-year contract extension, Field Yates of ESPN reported Monday evening.
McMillan, 25, had arrived in March on a pact worth $1.15 million that included a $50,000 signing bonus, a total of $180,000 in per-game roster bonuses and a guaranteed $200,000 from his $920,000 base salary. A 53-man roster run followed before he was placed on injured reserve during the early stages of training camp after suffering a torn left ACL in padded practice.
“Raekwon’s done a real good job,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said as the calendar turned to August. “I’ve been very impressed with his intelligence, his work ethic. He’s locked in every day. He works extremely hard both on and off the field. Does a great job of trying to get it just the way that it’s supposed to be, the way he’s been taught. He takes all that very seriously and handles a lot of responsibility in there, both with the front, the coverage and a lot of the time the linebacker adjustments by formation and so forth.”
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound Ohio State product entered the NFL in the second round of the 2017 draft with the Miami Dolphins. After missing the entirety of his rookie season due to a torn right ACL, McMillan returned to start 28 games for the Dolphins through 2019, logging 177 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery over north of 1,300 defensive downs.
McMillan would be traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in advance of the 2020 campaign. He appeared in every game and started four from there, playing a career-high 61 percent of the snaps on special teams while notching 27 tackles and a forced fumble before visiting Foxborough.
“I felt like this opportunity couldn’t be passed up just because of the prestige, being coached by some of the best coaches in the NFL and the opportunity that I would have here to be a part of something special,” McMillan told reporters in the spring. “I can’t keep saying it enough — just being in the atmosphere when I came into the building, I felt the energy and I felt the positivity they had about winning football games there. That’s what I’m trying to be about.”