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NFL free agency 2023: Jalen Mills stays with Patriots on reported 1-year contract, plans to move to safety

New England is bringing back the veteran defensive back four days after his release was first reported.

New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The New England Patriots and defensive back Jalen Mills are not parting ways after all. Four days after he was informed of his release, he signed a restructured one-year contract to stay with the Patriots.

Apparently, that is not all: as first reported by theScore’s Jordan Schultz, the plan for Mills is to move to safety after he spent the previous two years at the cornerback position.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2016, Mills spent the first five seasons of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. He arrived in New England in 2021 on a four-year, $24 million free agency deal.

While he was used all over their secondary in his final season with the Eagles, the Patriots installed Mills as an outside cornerback and kept him there throughout his first two seasons. As such, he appeared in 26 games and registered two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

His 2022 campaign was a challenging one, however. While he did look good when his number was called upon — opposing quarterbacks went 27-for-45 for 333 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions when targeting him — he was unable to consistently stay on the field. The Patriots’ nominal CB2 missed one game with a hamstring issue and the final six of the season with a groin injury.

Last week, it appeared the Patriots had seen enough. Mills was informed of his upcoming release in a move that would have created net salary cap savings of roughly $4.1 million.

Now, however, he will be back. The revised deal he is signing with the Patriots carries a value of up to $6.1 million, according to a follow-up report ESPN’s Adam Schefter.