Patriots, LB Jahlani Tavai Agree to Three-Year, $15M Contract Extension

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New England Patriots, LB Linebacker Jahlani Tavai Agree to Three-Year, $15M Contract Extension

The New England Patriots and linebacker Jahlani Tavai agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract extension Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. The extension has a maximum value of $21 million.

Jahlani Tavai finished second on the New England Patriots in tackles last season behind Ja’Whaun Bentley

Tavai, who turns 28 on Sept. 28, was entering the final season of the two-year extension he signed in November 2022 worth up to $4.4 million. He was slated to earn a base salary of $1.625 million in 2024.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Tavai was selected 43rd overall by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft out of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Moreover, Tavai has appeared in all 17 regular-season games (28 starts) each of the past two NFL seasons. According to Pro-Football-Reference, his 110 tackles with the Patriots in 2023 finished second behind only linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (114).

Last season, Tavai also recorded two forced fumbles and two interceptions as well.

On Aug. 31, 2021, he was waived by the Lions as part of the final pre-season roster cuts. A day later, the Patriots signed Tavai to their practice squad, eventually activating him.

New England re-signed other veterans this offseason

In 2022, Tavai finished the season with 69 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two passes defensed. On special teams in 2023, the California native was on the field for 78.3% of New England’s snaps.

His leadership within that unit will become the main focus in 2024, following the retirement of captain Matthew Slater.

Furthermore, the Patriots’ latest signing continues an offseason trend after the team also re-signed running back Rhamondre Stevenson, center David Andrews, and defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

New executive vice president of player personnel Eliot Wolf and coach Jerod Mayo have prioritized rewarding internal talent this offseason. All the other players mentioned above were entering the final year of their contracts.

“It was important for us to reward the guys that we want here,” Mayo said. “The guys that encompass the Patriot Way. The guys that come to work each and every day with a good attitude, looking to get better.”

In fact, New England entered the offseason with approximately $85 million in salary cap space and still has about $40 million in space.

Patriots rookies report for training camp July 19, while veterans report July 23. The team’s first practice is scheduled for July 24.

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