According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Patriots are adding a special teams stud to their roster, securing former Detroit Lion Chris Board to a two-year deal.
The reported signing should come as no surprise after Bill Belichick called Board the best special teams player the Patriots would see in 2022, expanding on the player later in the week before the Lions matchup with a long description.
"He's a very hard guy to matchup against," said Belichick when asked to expand upon what makes Board so good. "He has a great combination of size and speed as well as experience, instincts, and techniques. It's all of the above. There are really no weaknesses in the player. You've got to figure out how to deal with him. He's seen everything. He's seen everything.
"He looks like he's more like 245 pounds out there to tell you the truth, but I don't think he weighs that much. But he's a thumper. He's a very physical player. He runs well. He's very instinctive. So it doesn't matter who's on him, it's a tough matchup. If you start double teaming then everybody else is singled. You might solve one problem but you might create multiple other ones, too. You have to figure out how to handle it. He creates a lot of problems and then it all kind of rolls downhill from there."
With the Patriots special teams group coming in 32nd in the league last season by Football Outsiders' DVOA metric, Board's arrival should provide a significant boost to the unit. The Pats have been very active on special teams so far in free agency. The team has re-signed long-time veteran leaders Matthew Slater and Joe Cardona, and has a collection of rookies from last season like Damarcus Mitchell, Brenden Schooler and Raleigh Webb returning who should be improved in their second seasons.
New England has always put a premium on special teams talent and it appears that today they signed a player that can now create some problems in the Patriots' favor.
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