Josh Uche makes bold statement with return to Patriots

New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Patriots continued to make some moves ahead of the official start of free agency on Wednesday, with one re-signing catching most off guard since he was presumed to be heading to another team this offseason.

Because it had just been reported that negotiations had not been had between the team and him as of Monday, it was a shock to hear Josh Uche had signed a one-year contract to remain in New England. On top of that, he was almost traded before last season's deadline, making it seem even more he was out the door.

He seems to have benefitted from his position coach taking over as the new head coach, especially since he had a poor 2023 season after a standout season the year before. But what makes the situation even more surprising is the details of what Uche turned down in order to stay a Patriot.

Josh Uche makes bold statement with return to Patriots

Despite his underwhelming performance last year, many teams were said to be interested in acquiring the linebacker this offseason. According to reports, that appears to have been accurate, and apparently, Uche wanted to stay in Foxboro so badly that he turned down better offers to do so.

NFL insider Tom Pelissero had the scoop, revealing Uche turned down an offer of $15 million over two years with $11 million guaranteed. Instead, he returns to the Patriots on a one-year, $3 million deal with incentives that could bring it up to $8 million.

Considering the narrative spreading regarding the desirability of players signing with New England during a rebuild, it says a lot for a young player like Uche to stay put and not chase the money elsewhere.

It's not entirely out of nowhere, though. Before the end of the 2023 season, he had spoken highly of Mayo and how much he'd love to see him as a head coach. He spoke openly about wanting to play for him wherever that may be, and now he has that chance on what seems like a prove-it deal for the 2024 season.

This could signal a trend of what's to come with other free agents remaining unsigned or even those set to hit the market next year. If Mayo has a successful rookie season as a head coach, it could be enough reason for others to re-sign, even on a discount.

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