The New England Patriots and veteran safety Patrick Chung agreed on a two-year contract extension that creates additional cap space for the team.
It’s no secret that the New England Patriots are up against the wall with their salary cap. In fact, the cap situation was one of the biggest concerns for the team heading into the offseason.
The salary cap issue has limited the Patriots from being active in free agency and bringing in new players to upgrade the team.
In an effort to alleviate some of the cap issue, the Patriots gave veteran safety Patrick Chung a two-year contract extension.
In doing so, Chung receives a $3 million signing bonus while the Patriots create an additional $925,000 in cap space. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Pats only had around $600,000 available to play with prior to Chung’s extension.
On top of the signing bonus, Chung’s new contract raise gives him a base salary of $1.1 million in 2020. Chung will also have the opportunity to earn an additional $800,000 in per-game roster bonuses and a $100,000 workout bonus.
The Patriots are now able to focus on signing their lone remaining unsigned pick from the 2020 NFL Draft.
The problem the New England Patriots were facing — among many this offseason — was that they didn’t have enough money to sign their top draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, safety Kyle Dugger (who ironically enough resembles Chung in many ways).
At 6’3, 220 lbs, Dugger is going to be a hybrid safety that can often step down into the linebacker level as well as get back into coverage.
Entering his 11th season in New England, Chung is on his way to being one of the best defensive backs in Patriots history. He currently ranks eighth all-time with 482 tackles and fifth all-time with 54 passes defended.
Chung has always been capable of covering bigger receivers — including tight ends — and he is also effective on special teams, making him the ideal model of a safety.
For the seventh straight year, Chung will be overlooking the defense from his safety position alongside Devin McCourty.
Together in New England, Chung and McCourty have started and won three Super Bowls (XLIX, LI, LII) and are staples in the Patriots defense.