According to a report from ESPN's Mike Reiss and Field Yates, the Patriots are closing in on a deal with linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley to return to New England.
Bentley, 25, has played four seasons with the Patriots, starting all 16 games in 2022 and setting a career-high 109 tackles which led the team. The 2018 5th-round pick is a big, tough inside linebacker and made significant strides rounding out his game in his fourth season. He's played nearly 1,300 defensive snaps over the last two seasons as he's become a mainstay on that side of the ball.
Bentley was the first three-time captain at Purdue and was named a Patriots captain in 2020, as he is one of the emerging leaders on the defense. His experience and leadership should be valuable as the team moves forward with some significant turnover this offseason on defense.
Fortunately, Bentley will not be part of that turnover and will provide some continuity in front of a linebacker position group that is largely inexperienced in New England.