Patriots: Jalen Mills knew exactly why playing for Bill Belichick was the right choice

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 22: Jalen Mills #21 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 22: Jalen Mills #21 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

While the New England Patriots should be commended for their free-agency spending spree, if one contract they handed out deserves a heavy degree of skepticism, it’s the deal they handed out to former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills.

Against the better judgment of most outsiders, Mills was given a four-year contract worth $24 million.

The former LSU standout was one of the most frequently mocked defensive backs in the league over the last few years, as his overaggressive style of play often led to receivers beating him on a double move and piling up the long pass plays.

With an eye towards improving himself as a player, Mills decided to link up with Belichick, who has been molding defensive backs into elite corners since the 1980s.

Mills knows that playing alongside Belichick will only increase his value, and shared that sentiment this week after being questioned about his fit and the reasoning behind the move.

As we expected, Mills said that Belichick was a “huge” draw for him, as the versatile DB claims that Belichick does a masterful job of putting players like him in the right position more often than not.

How will Jalen Mills help the New England Patriots?

If there is one thing that the Patriots could get out of Mills instantly, it’s versatility, as he has experience at outside corner, slot corner, and safety. With the retirement of Patrick Chung and the raw nature of Kyle Dugger, Mills will be an important part of the secondary next season and in the years beyond for what should be an excellent Patriots team.

Mills’ $6 million per year salary is expensive, but it doesn’t guarantee a starting spot. In his first season, Belichick will likely cross-train him all over the secondary, using him as a backup for Dugger and Devin McCourty while also getting him snaps as the starting nickel cornerback and main dime blitzer.

Mills’ style of play will create turnovers, and there is nothing that a Belichick defense wants to do more than that. Mills could put the rough end to his Philadelphia tenure behind him with the help of much better coaching than he ever received under Jim Schwartz.

There is a reason the Eagles stuck with Mills amid all his consistency issues, as his athletic ability is genuinely impressive. While he never ascended into the elite tier that many assumed he could, or would, eventually reach as an Eagle, hopefully getting a crash course in textbook defensive back play from Belichick is exactly what gets his career back on track.

Next. Free agency grades after offseason spending spree. dark