New England Patriots Extend Linebacker

The New England Patriots apparently like what they've seen from their surprise starter at inside linebacker. Per ESPN's Field Yates, the team has signed Jahlani Tavai to a two-year, $4.4 million dollar extension that will tie him to the team through 2024.

Tavai has emerged as a starter for the Patriots of late after spending last season primarily as a special teams player. He has totalled 38 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks for the team in seven starts and 11 appearances this year. He has earned a 71.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus this season for his efforts.

Tavai is not an every-down starter for the Patriots defense, but he makes up for it with key contributions on special teams. He is a key cog on a squad that has allowed the sixth-fewest points in the league and the fourth-fewest yards. He is unlikely to develop into a star at his position, but he'll likely be useful as a rotational piece for the duration of his contract.

Tavai initially entered the league as the Detroit Lions' 43rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Despite his draft pedigree and extensive playing time, he failed to entrench himself in the organization and was the rare second-round pick to be cut before his third season. The Patriots snatched him up in 2021 and have proven a better fit.

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