BOSTON (CBS) — After seeing a host of defensive players head out the door in free agency, the Patriots have signed at least one replacement.
The team agreed to a deal with safety Adrian Phillips, who was named to a First Team All-Pro and a Pro Bowl as a special teams player in 2018. It’s a two-year pact, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, with a $7.5 max value. It includes $3 million guaranteed, a $1.5 million signing bonus, and the opportunity to earn another $4 million in incentives in 2020, according to Yates.
Phillips, who will turn 28 later this month, went undrafted out of Texas in 2014 before signing with the Chargers. He played in three games as a rookie and nine games in his second season, before becoming a regular contributor.
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He recorded at least one interception per year from 2015-18, and he recorded a career-high 94 tackles in 2018.
Phillips also has an interception, three pass defenses, one fumble recovery and 12 total tackles (one for a loss) in two playoff games. In a game against the Patriots in 2017, Phillips recorded a career-high 12 solo tackles and defended a pass,
ADRIAN PHILLIPS CHARGERS SNAP PERCENTAGE
2015: 21% defense, 26% special teams
2016: 51% defense, 43% special teams
2017: 49% defense, 59% special teams
2018: 66% defense, 79% special teams
2019 (injury): 29% defense, 24% special teams
Phillips suffered a broken arm early in the 2019 season, but returned in early December to finish the season.
Phillips helps replenish a defense/special teams unit that has lost Duron Harmon (trade), Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, Elandon Roberts and Nate Ebner. Phillips joins defensive tackle Beau Allen and wide receiver Damiere Byrd as the team’s only free-agent additions thus far.