Patrick Chung has gone from being a player mentioned as a potential cap casualty to someone locked in for the next two seasons. On Wednesday, the New England Patriots signed Chung to a two-year extension through 2023, per ESPN’s Field Yates.
Per Yates, Chung will receive $3 million now, and he’s due $12.8 million over the next four seasons.
The Patriots and S Patrick Chung have agreed to a two-year extension through 2023, per sources. Chung gets $3M to sign and is now due up to $12.8M over the next four years. One of the most reliable players on their standout defense.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 20, 2020
Chung’s Age, Experience, and Statistics
The 32-year-old Chung is heading into his 12th season in the NFL. All but one (the 2013 campaign with the Philadelphia Eagles) has been spent with the Patriots. Chung missed three games with injury in 2019, but he has been pretty durable throughout his career, despite playing in the box at 5’11” 215 pounds.
Over the past six seasons, Chung has missed just five games in total. Throughout his career, Chung has amassed 778 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 12 QB hits, and 11 interceptions. While those stats are impressive, Chung’s value goes beyond the numbers.
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Perhaps the most valuable quality Chung brings to the Patriots’ defense is his versatility. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another player who has been used in as many different roles as Chung.
CLNS’ Evan Lazar details all the spots Chung lined up in during the 2019 season:
Patrick Chung's snaps based on alignment for the #Patriots in 2019:
Box – 334
Slot – 129
DLine – 113
Wide CB – 48
FS – 30
Chung's coverage stats: 33-41, 7.5 yds/target, 1 TD, 3 INT, 99.4 rating
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) May 20, 2020
Even with Chung signing an extension, there will be an interesting rotation at safety for the Patriots. The team didn’t sign Chung to this extension to have him play an insignificant role. However, it did also sign Adrian Phillips as well as drafted Kyle Dugger with its second-round selection.
The distribution of playing time will be one of the main things to watch as Pro Football Focus has already projected Phillips as the Patriots’ starter.
Chung’s Signing Clears Some Cap Space
By extending Chung, the Patriots were able to secure his services, but they also made the requisite cap space to sign Dugger to his rookie contract.
Chung’s extension doesn’t guarantee he will spend the remaining time on the deal with the Patriots. New England could still trade Chung, and that might be a more likely occurrence if Dugger shows the kind of promise one would expect from a second-round pick.
In any case, the Patriots are positioned to have enviable depth in the secondary. While many are focused on the question marks surrounding the Patriots’ offense, the defense looks positioned to be as good, if not better than it was last year when it was rated No. 1 most of the season.
There are still some uncertainties at linebacker, and how Beau Allen will replace Danny Shelton, but things look good overall on that side of the ball.
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