The Patriots will bring back their team leader in sacks next season, as Tully Banta-Cain has agreed to a three-year contract extension to stay in New England.
The deal was first reported by ESPN.com reporter and NESN insider Mike Reiss, and later the Patriots made the announcement on the team's official Twitter page. Reiss reported that the deal will pay Banta-Cain an average of $4.5 million per season and "could grow to as rich as $6 million per season if he hits certain escalators."
Banta-Cain became an unrestricted free agent at midnight, but he didn't remain one for long. He's coming off a career-high 10 sacks in 2009. It was his first season back in New England after spending two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Prior to that, he spent four seasons in New England, winning two Super Bowl in his first two seasons in the league.