In what is normally a quiet period on the NFL calendar, the Patriots have been quite busy over the past two days. On Wednesday the team extended wide receiver DeVante Parker. Thursday it was linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley on the receiving end of a two-year extension.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was the first to report the extension, which he says is worth $18.75 million with $9 million fully guaranteed.
Bentley was set to enter the final year of his contract in 2023 after signing a two-year deal to stay in New England in 2021. The linebacker is coming off a solid 2022 campaign that saw him appear in all 17 games with 125 tackles, three sacks, one interception and a fumble recovery.
He is also considered one of the leaders in the locker room and was a team captain in 2020 and 2022. Bentley, 26, has been a solid fit in the middle of the Patriots defense who has always excelled against the run but in recent seasons has shown some improvement in areas of the passing game as well, particularly as a blitzer.
With long-time stalwart and leader Devin McCourty retiring in the offseason, retaining Bentley as a leader on defense is a positive sign for the Patriots.