The New England Patriots have locked up one of their top defenders for the foreseeable future.
Adam Caplan of ESPN reported on Saturday morning that the Patriots have inked safety Adrian Phillips to a three-year extension worth up to $14.25M.
Phillips, 29, arrived in New England prior to the 2020 season on a two-year deal worth roughly $6M. Throughout his near two seasons in New England, Phillips has become one of the Patriots most versatile defenders, having led the team in tackles in 2020, before sitting at third and second respectively in the team lead for tackles and interceptions in 2021. Phillips’ 81% usage rate ranks fifth on the team in 2021, trailing only Devin McCourty on the defensive side of the ball.
Prior to the extension, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said of Phillips, “He’s one of our most versatile players... He almost always does the right thing, kind of like (Patrick) Chung.” That versatility can be quantified, as according to @NextGenStats Adrian Phillips has played more than 100 defensive snaps at safety, slot cornerback, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and EDGE defender. Inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo said, “Adrian is a linebacker at heart. He just stopped growing a little earlier than the rest of us.” during the 2020 season that saw Phillips convert down to play linebacker following a multitude of injuries.
The 5-foot-11, 210 pound former All-Pro originally entered the league by signing with the then San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Texas. He spent six seasons with the Chargers organization, earning his All-Pro nod as a special teamer, before signing on with the Patriots in March of 2021.
Phillips’ contract ties him to New England through 2024 season, joining him with Kyle Dugger, Jonathan Jones, and Jalen Mills as starters in the Patriots secondary that are signed on past this season.