It’s a win-win for the Patriots and Patrick Chung.
The veteran safety agreed to a two-year extension Wednesday that is more of a contract adjustment, according to a league source.
As part of the revamping, Chung will receive a $3 million signing bonus while the Patriots receive $925,000 in salary-cap space.
At least some of that savings was used to sign safety Kyle Dugger, the team’s top pick in last month’s draft. Dugger’s deal was completed Wednesday, according to a league source.
New England’s entire draft class is now under contract.
This is the third straight year Chung has had his contract altered. In addition to his signing bonus, the 12-year veteran gets a $1.1 million base salary for 2020, a $100,000 workout bonus, and the opportunity to pocket $800,000 in per-game roster bonuses.
If Chung extends his career past 2020, he’ll play under these terms from 2021-23: a $1.9 million base salary, the chance at up to $400,000 in per-game roster bonuses, $200,000 in incentives, and a $100,000 workout bonus.
Since returning to New England after a one-year hiatus in Philadelphia (2013), Chung has transformed into one of the most versatile and valuable members of Bill Belichick’s defenses.
Chung’s position flexibility allows him to play closer to the box in a hybrid linebacker role — he is, pound for pound, one of the most rugged players in the NFL — while also displaying the coverage skills that allow him to blanket tight ends.
Chung and Devin McCourty have long been one of the top safety tandems in the league.
An indefatigable player in practice and games, Chung is also a core special teamer.
Chung has said in recent years that he really matured after spending his one season with the Eagles, that he really came to appreciate playing for Belichick, and has said he’d rather not play for any other coach. In 2018, Belichick called Chung “one of the best players in the league.’’
Dugger was chosen with the 37th overall pick after a standout career at Division 2 Lenoir-Rhyne and now gets to learn New England’s complex defense under the tutelage of Belichick, Chung, and McCourty.