Anyone who has closely watched Patrick Chung patrol the Patriots secondary for the majority of the last decade knows that wherever he goes, chaos and collisions are sure to follow.
And that’s why the veteran safety has become involved in a new sport — rugby.
Chung and fellow safety Nate Ebner — a rugby lifer — are now part owners of the Free Jacks, New England’s fledgling entry in Major League Rugby.
“It’s constant chaos,’’ Chung said Wednesday night of his new second-favorite sport. “I love chaos.’’
Chung was recruited to the sport and the new venture by Ebner, who grew up playing rugby before switching over to football during his junior year at Ohio State.
Although Chung is a newbie to the sport, he’s catching on fast.
“Rugby cuts out all the soft people in the world,’’ he said, before unveiling what could end up being the team’s unofficial motto, when asked to describe his perfect player. “Humble, hard-working, smart, loving savages.’’
Ebner, who took a brief NFL hiatus to play for the US National team in the 2016 Olympics, wouldn’t rule out a return to rugby — and even the Free Jacks — after his football days are over “if my body allows it.’’
Speaking of chaos, these are chaotic days surrounding the Patriots and the status of several impending free agents, including Tom Brady, Devin McCourty, and even Ebner himself.
Naturally Brady has been the hottest topic of conversation, though Chung and Ebner indicated they haven’t yet been inundated with offseason questions about the future. Chung added it’s “not weird” at all to not know about Brady’s status in particular.
“It’s something we can’t control. We can’t worry about things we can’t control,’’ said Chung. “He’s a grown man, he can do whatever he wants to to make sure his family and his foundation is set. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.’’
Ebner said it’s normal offseason operating procedure.
“Every year, guys contracts come up,’’ he said. “It’s part of football. Like [Pat] said, it’s out of our control.’’
Like Brady, McCourty has been a longtime leader for the Patriots and is close with Chung and Ebner.
“I’d love to have [Devin] back,’’ said Chung. “These are my friends here. It’s the same thing. He has to do whatever he has to do to take care of himself. Whatever decision that is, I’m going to back him. Period.’’
Ebner wouldn’t provide any clarity on where negotiations stand between him and the Patriots, but he made it clear he would like to remain in New England.
“That’d be the best thing, I think, when you consider my entire career’s been here,’’ he said. “I understand how things go, I’ve got some true friendships here. Right now, it’s not in my hands, so we’ll see what happens and I’ll just take it how it goes.’’
Chung politely declined to discuss his recently closed criminal case in New Hampshire. Chung was indicted by a grand jury in early August for possession of a controlled substance, resulting from a visit by police on June 25 at his Meredith, N.H., home.
Prosecutors in Belknap (N.H) County dropped the charge against Chung in mid-January provided the 32-year-old stays out of trouble for two years, submits to drug screening, and performs 40 hours of community service.
“There are several factors which led the State to agree to this resolution,’’ a statement from Belknap County Attorney Andrew B. Livernois’s office read. “First, Mr. Chung has no prior criminal record nor any prior involvement with the criminal justice system. Second, Mr. Chung was fully cooperative with the Meredith Police Department on the evening of the incident involved. Third, the amount of the drugs which were allegedly in Mr. Chung’s possession and/or control was small. Fourth, Mr. Chung has provided proof to the State that he has voluntarily undergone a full substance abuse evaluation, and that said evaluation indicated that Mr. Chung does not need any substance abuse treatment.’’
Jim McBride can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.