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Mac Jones, Deatrich Wise Jr. among 6 Patriots captains for the 2022 NFL season

Related: Sunday Patriots Notes: Projecting New England’s 2022 team captains

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick closed his Wednesday press conference by announcing his team’s captains for the upcoming 2022 season. The group features four veterans who already held that title before, and a pair of first-timers.

Quarterback Mac Jones and defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. are joining special teamer Matthew Slater, center David Andrews, linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley and safety Devin McCourty.

Slater, Andrews and McCourty all retained their titles from the last few years. Slater and McCourty are entering their 12th season holding the prestigious title, while Andrews has been voted a captain for a sixth time.

Bentley is also returning to the rank of captain after a one-year absence from the group. He originally joined the Patriots’ captains in 2020, but gave the role back to Dont’a Hightower after the long-time locker room leader returned from the Covid-19 opt-out list the following year. With Hightower no longer on the team, the title now went back to Bentley.

Additionally, Jones and Wise Jr. have been named captains for the first time in their respective careers.

One year after earning the Patriots’ starting quarterback gig, the Patriots’ sophomore quarterback has taken control of the New England offense. Seeing him take this next step in his development did not come as a surprise. The same is true for Wise Jr., who has been a tone-setter in the Patriots’ locker room for several years and has now been recognized for his leadership.

“Everybody on the team contributes to leadership in one way or another. Some more vocal than others but that doesn’t take away from guys who set a strong work ethic and example that aren’t necessarily vocal,” Belichick said about his team’s leadership earlier this week.

Last season, New England carried five captains. Slater, McCourty and Andrews were joined by the aforementioned Dont’a Hightower as well as since-retired running back James White.

The Patriots will open their 2022 regular season on the road against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.