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The Patriots re-signed a core special teams player Wednesday, bringing back Brandon King on a two-year, $2.6 million deal with $400,000 guaranteed, a league source confirmed. King, a three-year veteran, signed with the Patriots a week before he was set to become a restricted free agent.
King has been strictly a special teams player in the three years since joining the team as an undrafted rookie, and he didn’t play a snap on defense in 2017, though he practices with the linebackers and safeties.
In 2017, King played in 13 games, tying for second on the team with eight special teams tackles. He played the fifth-most special teams snaps on the Patriots and had a safety against Chargers punt returner Travis Benjamin.
King’s two-year deal includes a $400,000 signing bonus, nonguaranteed base salaries of $775,000 and $925,000, and roster bonuses of $15,625 per game he’s on the active roster ($250,000 max). He will have salary cap numbers of $1,178,125 and $1,375,000.
While King is now locked up for two years, other Patriots special teamers are set to become unrestricted free agents next Thursday: Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner, Marquis Flowers, and Johnson Bademosi.
Aqib Talib wanted to get cut so he could choose his next destination, and the Patriots were high on his wish list.
Talib didn’t get his wish.
The Denver Broncos shipped the star cornerback to the Los Angeles Rams for a fifth-round pick Thursday night, according to NFL Network.
The network reported that the Patriots and the Broncos were in a standoff over compensation for Talib, 32. The Broncos then wasted little time finding a trade partner in the Rams, whose defensive coordinator is Wade Phillips. Phillips was a former defensive coordinator in Denver.
The Patriots have been linked with Richard Sherman, another star cornerback who believes his days in Seattle are numbered.
Where Malcolm Butler will land is a mystery. The cornerback did not play a defensive snap for the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
The league year begins for real on Wednesday.
Did the Patriots offer the Seahawks a better deal than the Eagles for defense lineman Michael Bennett?
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the situation was complicated.
“First of all, the Bennett brothers were going nuts trying to get it somehow so they could play together on the Patriots,’’ Rapoport said on the network. “I know Martellus Bennett was talking about taking less salary, trying to stick around so the Patriots could then trade for his brother . . . Now, from what I am told, this was basically done, a done deal between the Seahawks and Eagles — this was Tuesday morning.
“Then the Patriots came in late and said, ‘Well, maybe we’ll give you this’ — a little bit better draft-pick compensation. The problem was the [Seahawks-Eagles] deal was basically already done . . . The Seahawks are honorable people and they did the deal that was basically consummated earlier.”
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