The New England Patriots are bringing back linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, per Mike Reiss of ESPN. Here are three thoughts on the signing for New England.
Nothing out of the ordinary
Nothing special is really on either side of this deal, as the Patriots get a highly-trusted young linebacker locked up for two seasons, on relatively cap-friendly terms (a $9 million deal).
Bentley was a restricted free agent that is coming off of the best season of his reer that was highlighted by a team-high 108 tackles.
Patriots still keeping some beef
The Patriots are seemingly trying to add more speed in the front seven, as they swapped Chase Winovich for a lighter option in Mack Wilson, and their recent draft choices have been much speedier, and more agile than the traditional look of a linebacker.
But, they do still retain a 255-pound animal in Bentley, who fits the look of a more traditional back. The majority of options in the draft this year are built on the basis of speed, so it’s not a bad idea for the Patriots to keep some of the weight — especially if Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower find better suitors in the open market.
Linebacker position is still nowhere near set
With Hightower and Collins both testing the market, how the linebacker group will look in 2022 is a big question mark currently. Plenty of options through the draft pose as possible suitors at linebacker, though New England still might try to keep some more age on the squad — the team has already brought back a number of veterans.
Regardless of how they add, they still need to definitely add to this current group — whether it’s through the draft, bringing back Hightower and or Collins, and or grabbing somebody externally in free agency.