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Why returning to New England wasn’t a hard decision for Duron Harmon

03.18.17 at 11:24 am ET
Returning to the Patriots wasn't a hard decision for Duron Harmon. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Returning to the Patriots wasn’t a hard decision for Duron Harmon. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Safety Duron Harmon was one of the most underrated players on the Patriots defense in 2016. While on a national level he doesn’t get noticed much, without him the Patriots may not have won Super Bowl LI.

The 26-year-old was a free agent for the first time this offseason, but ultimately re-signed with the Patriots for a reported four-year and $20 million deal.

Speaking Friday on a conference call, Harmon explained why it wasn’t that tough of a decision.

“The free agency process, it was a good process,” Harmon said. “You got to go out there, you got to be a free agent, you got to see where people value your skills at, what you put on tape for the first four years of your career. I would say in the end, I mean coming back to New England – that’s ultimately what I wanted to do. I love it here.

“I’ve built a lot of relationships here with people outside of football. My kids go to school here and just being a part of this organization – it means a lot to me. I really love playing for this organization. I love playing for Coach [Bill] Belichick. I love being a part of Mr. [Robert] Kraft’s team. In the end, just coming back here really wasn’t a hard decision. It was something that I ultimately wanted to do.”

Harmon is one of three safeties on the Patriots roster, along with Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, and last year he was used more in the nickel. The way he’s used in New England was one of the biggest reasons for him coming back.

“It was definitely enjoyable,” he said of his role last year. “I mean that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come back. They know how to use me. They know how to really get the best out of me and I want to continue to grow being a part of this defense. Just being able to play more, being in more situations, being out there more, being relied on more is something that I really prided myself in last year to just let me know that I was becoming a better football player that Coach [Bill] Belichick and Matty P [Matt Patricia] would put me out there a lot more.”

Selected in the third round of the 2013 draft, Harmon has seven interceptions in four seasons.

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