Patriots Sign Shea McClellin

FRIDAY, 7:35pm: McClellin’s three-year contract is worth $12MM, including $3.5MM guaranteed, ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets.

4:03pm: The Patriots have officially signed McClellin, the team announced in a press release.

WEDNESDAY, 9:08pm: After agreeing to acquire tight end Martellus Bennett from the Bears on Wednesday, the Patriots will add another ex-Chicago player. The Pats have reached an agreement on a three-year accord with free agent linebacker Shea McClellin, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (Twitter links). Financial details are not yet available.

In landing McClellin, the Pats have kept him from the AFC East rival Jets, who visited with the 26-year-old last week. McClellin Shea McClellinwas the Bears’ first-round pick in 2012, but he never lived up to his draft status, totaling just 161 tackles and 7.5 sacks in four years. As a result of his disappointing play, the Bears declined his fifth-year option for 2016 last offseason. McClellin responded by notching a career-best 81 tackles in 12 games. Eleven of those 12 appearances were starts, giving him 31 overall. Pro Football Focus wasn’t impressed with McClellin’s output last season, though, grading him 88th among 97 qualifying linebackers.

With the Patriots, he’ll join a linebacking corps that features two stars – Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower – as well as Jonathan Freeny. The Patriots liked McClellin prior to the 2012 draft, notes Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter), and he has shown versatility by taking snaps along the defensive line and as both an inside and outside linebacker during his career.

The addition of McClellin is the latest move in a week of seemingly nonstop transactions by the Pats. The club has added (unofficially in some cases) receiver Chris Hogan, guard Jonathan Cooper, defensive end Chris Long, Bennett and McClellin since March 11.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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