Patriots Offer Contract to Kyle Dugger?

Kyle Dugger’s digging for gold. Time will tell if he finds it in Foxborough.

Patriots, Kyle Dugger have potential blueprint for a contract extension -  Pats Pulpit

Per a report from Andrew Callahan and Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald, the New England Patriots have offered a contract to safety Kyle Dugger, who is nonetheless expected to at least “test the market.” The report further declares that “utilizing the franchise or transition tag has not been discussed.”

“Recent deals signed by Browns safety Grant Delpit and Falcons safety Jessie Bates put Dugger’s projected pay range anywhere from $12-to-$16 million per year,” the Herald’s insiders note. “Dugger, who will turn 28 this month, is believed to want a longer-term contract that will maximize his guarantees in what should be his last chance to truly cash in as a free agent.”

“Front-office members have communicated publicly and privately that bringing back Dugger is a priority.”

Dugger, who turns 28 later this month, has been one of the few things that have gone right for the Patriots in the 2020s, fulfilling the potential that Bill Belichick saw in him when writing his name on the card for the 37th pick in the decade-opening draft.

The Leonir-Rhyne alum has earned 343 tackles (including 17 for a loss), 20 pass breakups, and nine interceptions over his first four seasons and he scored three touchdowns during the 2022 season.

The Division II riser likely wouldn’t have to wait long for offers if and when he hits the market, but a long-term deal from the Patriots would be particularly meaningful: as one of the post-Tom Brady building blocks who truly proven foundational, Dugger perhaps deserves to stick around to enjoy the potential glory days ahead.

On the other hand, Dugger may have had enough of development and rebuilding, especially with the Patriots’ path back to respectability being far from a mere move away. In any event, Dugger’s future will certainly stand as one of the more interesting subplots of the Patriots’ offseason, one that has the potential to serve as a referendum on where the rebuild stands.

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