Patriots, Adrian Phillips Reportedly Agree To Three-Year Extension

Phillips was set to hit free agency after the season

by

Jan 1, 2022

The New England Patriots kicked off the new year by locking up one of their top defensive players.

Safety Adrian Phillips agreed to terms Saturday on a three-year, $12.75 million contract extension, according to multiple reports. The deal reportedly includes $7.25 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $14.25 million.

SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan was the first to report Phillips’ extension.

Phillips, who initially signed a two-year contract with the Patriots in 2020, was set to hit unrestricted free agency this March. The 29-year-old has played in every game over the past two seasons, playing a key role as a versatile safety/linebacker hybrid.

In 2020, Phillips led the Patriots with 107 tackles and seven tackles for loss while essentially playing as a full-time linebacker for an undermanned New England defense. This season, he has a career-high four interceptions, including one pick-six, plus four pass breakups and three TFLs, teaming up with Devin McCourty and Kyle Dugger to form a formidable safety trio.

The 34-year-old McCourty also is an impending free agent, so extending Phillips ensured at least two-thirds of that trio will remain intact next season. Dugger, the Patriots’ top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is signed through 2023.

Earlier this season, Bill Belichick compared Phillips to three-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Chung, one of the Patriots head coach’s all-time favorite players.

“This is one of our best players and one of our most versatile players,” Belichick said. “And he almost always does the right thing. When something comes up, maybe you haven’t covered it, maybe you haven’t exactly gone through that situation or that particular way of blocking — crack block or something has unfolded — he almost always does the right thing. … Very instinctive, very high IQ, plays faster and bigger than whatever his dimensions and times are. He’s got a real high level of instinctiveness and anticipation.”

Through 15 games, Phillips has played 348 snaps in the box, 154 as an edge defender, 121 as a deep safety, 113 in the slot and 45 as a wide cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. He’s PFF’s sixth-highest-graded cornerback.

Phillips is listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium after sitting out Friday’s practice with a knee injury and an illness.

Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
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