NFL Rumors: Patrick Chung Considered Retirement This Offseason
On Wednesday, safety Patrick Chung agreed to a two-year contract extension with the New England Patriots.
But before that, he reportedly considered retirement.
The veteran safety - who will be 33 years old at the beginning of the 2020 season - considered calling it a career this offseason, according to ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler.
After missing three games during the regular season last year, Chung exited the Patriots' Wild Card game against the Tennessee Titans due to an ankle injury, and never returned. Though there is no connection between the injuries he suffered last year and him contemplating retirement this offseason, one has to think an aging veteran safety's body won't bounce back like it used to at a much younger age. That, along with a successful decade-long career which included three Super Bowl victories is plenty of reason to think Chung has done enough to be at peace with a decision to end his football career. But he apparently isn't done quite yet.
Chung reportedly gets a $3 million signing bonus and will be owed $12.8 million over the next four years after signing his extension this week. He gets an additional $1.6 million this season, which will make his total compensation for 2020 $5 million. His compensation in 2021 - which is $2.6 million - remains unchanged, according to NFL Media's Mike Garafolo.
The deal was likely done in an effort to create some cap relief. Chung's extension created $925,000 in cap space for the Patriots, which was used in some capacity to sign safety Kyle Dugger, who was New England's second round pick in this year's draft and was the team's only draft pick that hadn't been officially signed yet before Wednesday.
Chung has been a pivotal part of the Patriots' secondary for the past decade. His ability to play in the box and cover larger receivers and tight ends has proven to be an incredibly valuable asset for Bill Belichick's defense during New England's second decade of continued success.
Chung's days are numbered in the NFL moving forward, however. That may be why the Patriots signed former All-Pro safety Adrian Phillips during free agency - who is a versatile safety that can play in the box as well as deep - and drafted Dugger - who can play a very similar role to that of Chung. Bringing in those players will allow Chung to play in a more limited capacity, which may help extend his NFL career.