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Analysis: Shilique Calhoun could see expanded role in return to New England

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The Patriots announced this afternoon that free agent outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun has re-signed with the team. We mentioned earlier today that Calhoun would be a good option to bring back after a solid first season with New England.

Calhoun was selected in the third round of the 2016 draft and spent three seasons with the Raiders before playing a career-high 15 games for the Patriots in 2019 that saw him contribute as a sub-package pass rusher and special teams contributor. For the year, he played just over a quarter of the defensive snaps and just over half of the special teams snaps, tallying nine tackles and forcing a fumble.

Most notable was how Calhoun filled in for Kyle Van Noy in Week 1, starting and playing a season-high 82 percent of the snaps. With Van Noy's departure to Miami, Calhoun could be in line to fill in for him more permanently and will be given the chance to expand his role on defense. Having just turned 28 four days ago, Calhoun is still very much in his prime.

After the losses of Van Noy and Jamie Collins, the additions of Calhoun and Brandon Copeland will help stabilize the linebacker depth chart and set the stage for an interesting training camp competition that will also include Chase Winovich, Derek Rivers, practice squadder Tashaun Bower and likely multiple rookies.

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