Hartford Courant

Patriots’ Mills returning on new deal:

- — Andrew Callahan, Boston Herald

The Patriots and defensive back Jalen Mills have agreed to terms on a revised 1-year deal four days after the team intended to release him, a source confirmed to the Herald.

Mills’ new deal is a 1-year pact worth up to $6.1 million. His expected release was reported last week, a move that reduced the Pats’ already questionab­le cornerback depth. However next season, Mills plans to play safety, per The Score.

Mills enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career playing safety with the Eagles in 2020, his last year before joining the Patriots. He posted a career-high 74 tackles, one intercepti­on, a forced fumble and 1.5 sacks. Upon signing Mills as a free agent the spring of 2021, the Pats expected him to continue playing safety in training camp but moved him to corner, a position he played from 2016-2019, to offset the injury loss of top corner Stephon Gilmore.

Last season, Mills recorded 31 tackles, five pass deflection­s and two intercepti­ons over 10 games. He missed every game after Thanksgivi­ng last season due to a groin injury. Mills also dealt with a hurt hamstring earlier in the season, and his availabili­ty factored into the team’s decision to release him, according to a source.

If Mills plays safety, he’ll join Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips and Jabrill Peppers atop the depth chart. The Patriots’ most common defensive personnel grouping the last few seasons has been a three-safety nickel package. It’s unknown if the staff envisions any of their top safeties as being capable of filling Devin Mccourty’s shoes as a traditiona­l free safety.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States