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2022 NFL free agency: Patriots re-sign linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley to reported 2-year, $9 million deal

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Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Update 3/18/2022: Patriots re-sign linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley to two-year, $9 million deal

The compensation for Ja’Whaun Bentley’s reported contract with the Patriots has been released and it looks like it could be a deal for New England.

Bentley’s deal will pay him a total of $9 million over the course of two-years according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. That contract ties him to New England through the 2023 season.


Original story 3/18/2022: Patriots reportedly closing in on re-signing linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley

The New England Patriots will reportedly retain a 2021 defensive starter.

According to a report by Mike Reiss and Field Yates of ESPN, New England is closing in on re-signing linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley to a deal.

Bentley, 25, originally entering the league as New England’s fifth round draft pick in 2018, having spent each of the last four seasons with the club. An injury derailed positive momentum that he built during his rookie season, but Bentley has served as one of New England’s most consistent players at linebacker, having missed just four games over the last three seasons. He capped off his rookie contract with a career year in 2021 where he lead the Patriots with 109 tackles and started all 16 games that he played in.

Bentley’s return would help the Patriots keep some continuity on a defense that has and will continue to undergo some personnel changes this offseason. He would join reserve players Jahlani Tavai and Harvey Langi as the only three off-ball linebackers that saw game action for New England in 2021 to be signed on for 2022. Cameron McGrone and Raekwon McMillan, both of whom are coming off of injuries are expected to join that group as well.

This move raises questions about how New England will handle veteran linebacker Dont’a Hightower’s free agency, as he remains unsigned.