Patriots Make Record-Setting Moves During Day 1 Of Free Agency Negotiations
By Jason Hall
March 15, 2021
The New England Patriots wasted little time during the first day of legal tampering during the 2021 offseason on Monday (March 15.)
The Patriots reportedly reached deals with five of their top targets, which totaled an amount of $172 million, Yahoo Sports reports.
NFL Network's Albert Breer reports New England agreed to terms with nose tackle Davon Godchaux on a two-year, $16 million; outside linebacker Matthew Judon on a four-year, $56 million deal; defensive back Jalen Mills on a four-year, $24 million; tight end Jonnu Smith on a four-year, $50 million deal, with Smith and Mills becoming the highest-paid Patriots skill and defensive players in franchise history.
Patriots board ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 15, 2021
• NT Davon Godchaux: 2 years, $16 million.
• OLB Matthew Judon: 4 years, $56 million.
• DB Jalen Mills: 4 years, $24 million.
• TE Jonnu Smith: 4 years, $50 million.
Smith and Judon = now the highest paid skill and defensive players in team history.
The contracts aren't fully guaranteed, which means the Patriots may not actually spend all of the reported $172 million during the next four years. However, the reported total is the most spent by New England on free agents in any offseason during the last decade, Schefter reports.
it's an unusual tactic for the normally frugal franchise, albeit not surprising given the team's uncharacteristic struggles in 2020, which included missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
It's also worth noting that every single player reported to agree to terms with the Patriots on Monday -- excluding Agholor -- is a client of agent Drew Rosenhaus, who credited his strong relationship with head coach Bill Belichick for getting the deals done.
Prior to Monday, New England had already agreed to a one-year contract with starting quarterback Cam Newton and re-acquired offensive tackle Trent Brown in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders pending a one-year contract agreement with Brown worth up to $11 million.
Brown, 27, started for the Patriots in every game during the 2018 NFL season, which resulted in the franchise's most recent Super Bowl victory, before signing with the Raiders the following offseason.
Photo: Getty Images