Raekwon McMillan won’t play a single snap in the 2021 NFL season, but the New England Patriots already have decided to bring him back for 2022.
McMillan, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp, signed a one-year contract extension with the Patriots on Monday, according to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates. McMillan’s new deal runs through next season.
The 25-year-old McMillan was in the midst of a strong camp when he went down, earning praise from head coach Bill Belichick.
“Raekwon’s done a real good job,” Belichick said in early August. “I’ve been very impressed with his intelligence, his work ethic. He’s locked in every day. He works extremely hard both on and off the field. Does a great job of trying to get it just the way that it’s supposed to be, the way he’s been taught. He takes all that very seriously and handles a lot of responsibility in there.”
The Patriots targeted McMillan in the 2017 NFL Draft but couldn’t land the Ohio State product. The Miami Dolphins selected him in the second round (54th overall), then traded him to the Las Vegas Raiders before the 2020 season.
New England’s two starting inside linebackers, Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley, both are in contract years, as is reserve Harvey Langi. Kyle Van Noy, Chase Winovich, Josh Uche and Matt Judon are signed through 2022, 2022, 2023 and 2024, respectively.
The Patriots are preparing to host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.