Following the start of training camp Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the New England Patriots inked defensive lineman Davon Godchaux to a two-year contract extension. On Thursday, Bill Belichick made it clear Godchaux is worth every penny.
“He’s one of the best defensive linemen in the league,” said Belichick. “Glad we were able to work that out with Davon and Drew [Rosenhaus]. Obviously, both sides are happy, contract’s signed, you know. Go forward.”
The praise was high for Godchaux, as his position and role along the Patriots’ two-gap defensive line scheme often goes unappreciated. However, the 27-year-old agreed with his coaches remarks.
“I’m going to be honest, yes I do,” Godchaux said when asked if he believes he is one of the league’s best defensive lineman. “I feel like to be a good [defensive tackle], you got to first be able to stop the run ... If you can't stop the run I feel like you can't pass rush. ... It’s not just me, but I do consider myself one of the best defensive lineman in the league.”
Coming from Miami, where he played under former Patriots assistant coach Brian Flores, Godchaux had a leg-up settling into New England last season. Through one-year, the match with the Patriots has been perfect for him.
“I feel like when I first started here this was home, coming from Miami with Coach Flores ran the same system, came here and I feel like I was a plug and play, I fit right in,” he said. “Bill, he’s honest, he’s positive criticism, he’s going to hold you accountable. I need a coach like that and when I got here it was everything I thought it was.”
After signing a two-year, $16 million deal with New England last season, Godchaux’s new deal will reportedly include over $17 million in guaranteed money. Despite his contract changing, the defensive lineman vowed he will not.
“I’m the same person every day, you can ask each one of my teammates,” Godchaux explained. “Never let the money change me. Still the same person, still the same hunger. ... I’m happy but not satisfied.”
As for his play on the field, there is still work to be done. After recording 65 combined tackles in his first season in New England while playing 59 percent of the defensive snaps, Godchaux is working to take on an even larger role.
“Pass rush,” Godchaux said when asked what he wants to improve. “Keep doing some things in the run, elevate my game. Just keep working all above, keep working on my hands, keep working on my feet. Every D-Lineman always conditioning, keeping their stamina up. ... Bill has been doing it at a high level for so many years, just follow that guy and trust that guy, you'll be alright.”
Now signed through the 2024 season, Godchaux is ready to do his part to live up to the expectations of a new contract and the standard of the Patriots’ organization.
“We know the expectations. Guys before me, the Vince Wilforks the Richard Seymours, they already set the standard, so I just got to go out there and do it,” Godchaux said. “Bill set the standard years ago so we got to keep living up to it. We don't really got to talk about it, we know what the standard is — Super Bowl or bad season.”