The Patriots have a number of notable defenders who are in line for extensions, but the team decided to lock up one of their more unheralded linebackers this afternoon. According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (via Twitter), the Patriots have extended linebacker Jonathan Freeny. The reporter adds that the extension is for two years, keeping Freeny on the squad through the 2018 season.
Freeny, a 2011 undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, joined the Patriots last offseason following several seasons with the Dolphins. The 27-year-old ultimately played a significant role for New England, starting seven games and compiling a career-high 50 tackles. Considering the Patriots defensive depth, it’s unlikely that Freeny will play as significant role in 2016. Roster Resource projects that the defender will be the team’s first linebacker off the bench. Of course, Freeny also plays a large role on the Patriots’ special teams unit.
The Patriots will have some difficult decisions as they look to extend several of their big-name defenders. Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Butler, and Jabaal Sheard are all set to hit free agency following the season.