Last week, the New England Patriots locked up one of their core defenders for the foreseeable future. Safety Adrian Phillips signed a three-year contract extension with the team to stay under contract in New England through the 2024 season.
On Friday, the details of that extension were reported by ESPN’s Field Yates. They show that the deal is some tremendous value for the Patriots.
Salaries: Phillips will earn a fully-guaranteed $1.12 million in 2022. He will play on a salary of $1.65 million in both 2023 and 2024. The 2023 salary is guaranteed against injury, meaning he will still earn the full amount even if getting hurt along the way.
Signing bonus: The Patriots gave Phillips a fully-guaranteed $4.75 million signing bonus proration that will be spread out over the duration of the deal, including 2021. As a result, the team’s current cap number will decrease by $1.19 million (i.e. one fourth of the total bonus) down to $987,002, according to Miguel Benzan.
Per-game roster bonuses: Phillips will earn an additional $50,000 for each game that he is active in 2022 for a total roster bonus sum of $850,000. Considering that he has appeared in all 16 games so far and is a safe bet to play on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins as well, the whole amount will be considered likely to be earned and thus counted against New England’s salary cap next year. Phillips can earn up to $1.28 million in roster bonuses — $75,000 per game — in both 2023 and 2024.
Workout bonuses: Phillips can earn a total of $180,000 worth of workout bonuses the next three years. He can earn $30,000 in 2022 as well as $75,000 in 2023 and 2024. The 2022 sum is also considered likely to be earned for cap purposes.
Salary cap hits: As noted above, Phillips’ salary cap hit for the 2021 season has increased by the signing bonus proration amount ($1.19 million) to $5.4 million. The next few seasons will actually be less costly on the cap for New England: Phillips will hit the team’s books with a manageable $3.19 million in 2022 as well as $4.2 million each in 2023 and 2024.
The Patriots and Phillips can both feel very good about this contract. The 29-year-old receives some financial stability given that a considerable amount of the extension value is fully guaranteed and some organizational stability as well; he knows he will remain in New England for at least two additional seasons.
New England, meanwhile, is able to keep one of its most valuable defenders in the fold for the next few years. That is especially important given that the future of long-time starting safety Devin McCourty remains in question beyond this season; McCourty is in the last year of his deal and at 34 years a possible candidate for retirement.
Phillips, meanwhile, is expected to continue holding down the fort alongside fellow safety Kyle Dugger. That is obviously good news for the team, especially considering that Phillips was headed for unrestricted free agency in two months as well.
He likely would have been a popular player given his performance so far this season. Appearing in 16 games and playing 81 percent of New England’s defensive snaps, Phillips has registered four interceptions — including one pick-six — as well as a fumble recovery and 81 tackles.
Following last week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Phillips spoke about his motivation behind re-signing with the Patriots rather than testing free agency for the first time since his arrival in New England in 2020.
“I’ve talked about this before but from the outside in you get this stigma about Foxborough, like there’s no fun here, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is,” he said. “And then you get here and you see like, ‘Ah, it ain’t like that at all.’ It’s really just hard work. You do your job, you win games, you have fun going to the postseason. And being able to be coached by somebody like Coach [Bill] Belichick, who doesn’t want that opportunity?”