With a significant number of key defensive players headed for free agency this offseason, the Patriots have reportedly made a an early move in 2022 to extend one of their most productive over the last two seasons.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter the team came to a deal on a three-year extension with Adrian Phillips that will keep Phillips in New England through 2024.
Phillips signed with New England in 2020 and was an immediate slam dunk for the Patriots' gameplan defense and has yet to miss a game. Phillips led the 2020 Pats in tackles and has doubled his two interceptions to four in 2021 as he continues to be one of the team's most reliable playmakers, no matter where he's playing on defense.
According to Next Gen stats, here's where Phillips has lined up this season.
- Safety: 173
- Slot CB: 145
- OLB: 118
- ILB: 102
- Edge: 106
- Perimeter CB: 85
- Interior DL (hovering over IDL): 21
"Adrian was very good around the line of scrimmage for the Chargers," said Bill Belichick in November of Phillips. "In San Diego, he played in the box. He played on the edge of the defense. They played that style of the defense where the safeties really play as linebackers in Coach [Gus] Bradley's defense. You can see his instinctiveness."
Now, Phillips' versatility will be a fixture of the Patriots defense for years to come.
"He's one of our best players," said Belichick. "He's one of our most versatile players. He almost always does the right thing. When something comes up, maybe you haven't covered it... He does what you would want him to do without really telling him exactly what to do in that situation, so all that's impressive."