When the New England Patriots signed Adrian Phillips, most were under the impression he would compete with Patrick Chung for a starting spot, or playing time in the team’s secondary. Once Chung opted-out of the 2020 NFL season, along with seven teammates due to health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, it appeared as though Phillips would slide into that role with even less competition.
However, things have a way of changing. With more than a week of padded practices under the team’s belt, one Patriots insider thinks Phillips could be one of the team’s “surprising cuts.”
This would be pretty surprising considering the Patriots signed Phillips to a two-year $6 million contract during the offseason.
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Adrian Phillips Less Than Impressive in Training Camp
CLNS’ Evan Lazar was asked by a fan which players he could see being surprisingly cut. Lazar named Phillips and wide receiver Jakobi Myers.
If you’re wondering about Lazar’s reasoning, he offered his rationale in the following tweet:
Would the Patriots Really Release Adrian Phillips?
Lazar is right on as it relates to Phillips’ inactivity during training camp. The 28-year-old veteran has sat much more than he has practiced, and that’s usually not a good sign. However, Phillips is one of the more proven newcomers, who as Lazar said, has versatility that allows him to help the team in multiple areas.
That said, the rookie Kyle Dugger has been really impressive during training camp. It appears the coaching staff is gaining more confidence in him by the day. However, he has been limited two straight days in practice, and this is part of the reason Phillips being released still feels like a longshot to me.
While his inactivity is troubling, his presence on the roster represents depth, versatility, and experience. Those three qualities will be very important to the Patriots’ secondary which is strong, but still possibly one injury or positive COVID-19 test away from being in major trouble.