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Reports: S Patrick Chung signs 1-year extension with Patriots 04.01.16 at 12:16 pm ET
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Patrick Chung

Patrick Chung

Safety Patrick Chung’s successful second stint with the Patriots landed him a one-year contract extension that will keep him in Foxboro through 2018, according to multiple reports.

Chung, who played for the Patriots from 2009-12 and returned in 2014 after a disappointing season with the Eagles, will get a $2.4 million signing bonus and a base salary of $2 million in 2018, with roster bonuses that could reach $400,000 ($25,000 per game), according to ESPN.

The 28-year-old is due to make $1.4 million in base salary in 2016, with $200,000 in roster bonuses ($12,500 per game) and a cap number of $3.18 million. Then in 2017 he’ll get $2.5 million in base salary with roster bonuses that could total $400,000 ($25,000 per game). His cap hit that season is $4.5 million.

Chung has made a name for himself with his ability to cover tight ends and defend against the run. He was rated as the sixth overall safety last season by Pro Football Focus.

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Patriots position-by-position breakdown: Secondary 02.16.16 at 6:00 am ET
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Devin McCourty is the leader of the Patriots' secondary. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Devin McCourty is the leader of the Patriots’ secondary. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With the Patriots done for the season, we’€™ve got an end-of-the-year position-by-position breakdown of where the Patriots stand and what figures to be the strengths and weaknesses for the team at that position going forward. We kicked things off at quarterback and now is the secondary.

Depth chart: Cornerbacks Malcolm Butler (56 tackles, 2 interceptions), Logan Ryan (58 tackles, 4 interceptions), Justin Coleman (17 tackles), Leonard Johnson (8 tackles), Rashaan Melvin (2 tackles). Safeties Devin McCourty (49 tackles, 1 interception), Duron Harmon (14 tackles, 3 interceptions), Patrick Chung (49 tackles), Jordan Richards (14 tackles), Tavon Wilson (8 tackles).

Overview: For the most part, the secondary played pretty well for the majority of the 2015 season. Overall, the defense ranked ninth in total defense and 10th in points per game, allowing 19.7. Specific to the secondary, the Patriots were 17th in passing defense, allowing 240.7 yards per game, which certainly could be improved upon. It did get better as the season went on, as in the last seven games including the postseason, New England allowed just 208.6 yards passing per game.

The yards the Patriots did allow through the air come down to a few things. One, the Patriots especially at the beginning of the year were playing with a lot of large leads so they were in prevent defense a lot of the second half, which allowed opposing offenses to pick up chunks of passing yards through the air. Second, they had issues finding a consistent third corner and often times opposing quarterbacks would take advantage of that picking on players like Coleman, Johnson and Melvin. If there was one area to improve upon or add to, it would be finding a No. 3 corner to play with Butler and Ryan.

Who will stay? The positive thing for the Patriots is besides McCourty, who is 28 years old, the secondary is very young and will only improve with time. It would seem like the entire secondary will stay in tact for the 2016 season. Butler made the Pro Bowl in his second season in the league and first as the Patriots’ No. 1 corner and Ryan made huge strides going up against some of the best receivers in the league. McCourty is one of the better safeties in the game and Chung and Harmon are nice complements. Richards and Wilson, Richards especially, showed promise when it came to defending opposing tight ends.

Who will go? The only real area of concern is the No. 3 corner/slot corner and that could be where the Patriots try and improve by adding a player or two. They certainly won’t break the bank for it, but maybe bring in a few guys at the league minimum and see how they work out. One name to keep an eye on is Darryl Roberts, the Patriots’ seventh-round pick in 2015, who missed the season due to injury.

By the numbers: 12 — The Patriots finished the year with just 12 interceptions, their fewest since 2005 when they had 10.

Read More: 2016 position-by-position breakdown, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards
Why Patriots players love hands-on ‘Mean Mug’ Robert Kraft, consider him best owner in sports 01.21.16 at 4:14 pm ET
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Robert Kraft has established himself as the most powerful owner in New England sports history. (Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports)

Robert Kraft has established himself as the most powerful owner in New England sports history. (Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports)

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft is one of the most successful owners in pro sports. He has established himself as the most powerful owner in New England sports history.

Forbes estimates his Patriots to be worth $3.2 billion, second only to the Cowboys in the NFL. Soccer’s Real Madrid ($3.26 billion) is just ahead of the Patriots in net value and the Patriots are tied with the Yankees on the list of valuable worldwide sports franchises.

Kraft has brought four Vince Lombardi trophies home to Foxboro and has been to three other Super Bowls.

But money and hardware aside, his players would tell you Robert Kraft is also the most loyal owner in sports.

“Every morning we see him in the squad meetings just sitting right there in the back just paying attention and that’€™s good to see as a player,” safety Patrick Chung said Thursday. “Most owners aren’€™t really doing that. He’€™s in there just paying attention. He’€™s always walking through the locker room, [I’€™ve] seen him working out and stuff.

“It’€™s good to know that he’€™s working just as hard as we are. We’€™re on the field, he’€™s off the field and it’€™s good to know, good to know that your owner has your back and he’€™s going to be there to make sure that he knows what’€™s going on, also. We like Mr. Kraft. We call him Mean Mug. Mean Mug, that’€™s our little thing that we’€™ve got so it’€™s good. It’€™s very good to see.”

Most successful owners in sports are the ones who are respected by the leaders on the field. That certainly is the case with the Patriots and Tom Brady.

“It’€™s obviously a huge impact on our team and our organization,” Brady said. “His expectations for us and how he sets the tone for us, he sits in almost every squad meeting that we have [and] I think he’€™s always got a pulse for how the team is doing, how the coaches feel about the particular week, how the players are feeling. He’€™s always involved, so I would say he’€™s very hands on. He used to come out to practice a lot more, but not as much lately. So, yeah, he really sets the tone for us.”

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Read More: 2016 NFL playoffs, Mean Mug, New England Patriots, Patrick Chung
Danny Amendola, Rob Ninkovich, Devin McCourty officially active vs. Dolphins 01.03.16 at 11:31 am ET
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The following Patriots players are inactive against the Dolphins: wide receiver Julian Edelman, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, linebacker Jonathan Freeny, cornerback Justin Coleman, defensive end Chandler Jones, defensive tackle Sealver Siliga and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer.

All these players were already ruled out on Friday, except Siliga who was ruled out earlier in the day. He returned home to attend to a family emergency.

This means a few key Patriot players are active in Danny Amenedola, Devin McCourty, Rob Ninkovich and Patrick Chung.

It will be worth monitoring how much these players play, as the team wants to make sure they are as healthy as possible for the postseason.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Danny Amendola, Patrick Chung, Rob Ninkovich,
Julian Edelman doubtful; Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty among 8 Patriots questionable vs. Jets 12.25.15 at 4:10 pm ET
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The Patriots will have some decisions to make between now and Sunday, as the team has listed eight players as questionable heading into the meeting with the Jets.

With a win the Patriots would wrap up the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed, but at the same time they want to make sure they are as healthy as possible for the postseason.

Some of the notable questionable players are Danny Amendola, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Dont’a Hightower, while Julian Edelman is doubtful.

The team will announce the players who didn’t travel Saturday night.

Here’€™€™s the full Patriots injury report:

OUT
LB Jonathan Freeny (hand)

DOUBTFUL
WR Julian Edelman (foot)

QUESTIONABLE
LB Dont’€™a Hightower (knee)
S Patrick Chung (foot)
S Devin McCourty (ankle)
WR Brandon LaFell (foot)
S Nate Ebner (ankle)
WR Danny Amenedola (knee)
TE Scott Chandler (knee)
OL Josh Kline (shoulder)

PROBABLE
DE Chandler Jones (abdomen)
CB Justin Coleman (hand)

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Read More: Danny Amendola, Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower, Julian Edelman
Steven Jackson makes Patriots debut at Tuesday indoor walkthrough, Patrick Chung, Danny Amendola present 12.22.15 at 1:35 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The wait for Steven Jackson is finally over.

Just minutes after the team made official his signing with the team, the 32-year-old veteran running back made his entrance through the main door of the Empower Field House at around 1 p.m. Tuesday, wearing a white practice No. 39 jersey. (No. 39 had belonged to Montee Ball of the practice squad) The move appeared to be for the cameras on hand to watch the stretching part of the walkthrough as he went through some jogging and agility exercises before taking off the jersey and joining the rest of the team in sweats and shirts with no numbers.

The first player he greeted was starting left tackle Sebastian Vollmer.

There was other news as linebacker Dont’a Hightower, Danny Amendola and safety Patrick Chung were spotted on the turf in the field house. All three were dinged up in the win over the Titans. Also returning to practice was starting center Bryan Stork, who missed Friday’s practice and Sunday’s game due to personal reasons and a coach’s decision, respectively.

The only players not spotted were receiver Julian Edelman, defensive back Justin Coleman and linebacker Jonathan Freeny.

The Patriots are expected to return to a full practice on Wednesday and Thursday before taking Christmas Day off on Friday. The Patriots play the Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

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Read More: Danny Amendola, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Patrick Chung
How Bill Belichick walks fine line between playing, resting players in final 2 weeks 12.21.15 at 1:47 pm ET
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Patrick Chung is helped to his feet after getting hit in the right leg by his own teammate Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Patrick Chung is helped to his feet after getting hit in the right leg by his own teammate Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — When to rest and when to play. It’s the biggest first-world problem of a perennial Super Bowl contender that is constantly achieving a first-round bye.

It’s a question that the Patriots have had to answer for each of the last six seasons and this year, it’s becoming even more crucial to find an answer as the banged up Patriots try to get healthy for another push through January and into February.

Every year, the question arises with how to handle Tom Brady. How much should he play in the season finale? But this year, the question of rest goes well beyond Brady and even Rob Gronkowski, who sat out the 2014 finale against the Bills.

Dont’a Hightower (another player who sat out the ’14 finale), Danny Amendola and Patrick Chung were all nicked up in Sunday’s 33-16 win over the Titans. Julian Edelman reportedly feels great and rehab from a broken left foot is going better than expected. He’s shooting for a Week 17 tuneup in Miami.

Play to win or rest to preserve your roster?

“That’s a good question,” Belichick said Monday in a conference call. “I think we just probably do the best we can to manage all of those things. They’re all somewhat of a consideration but we’ve just got to try and balance it. Each part the question requires some thought and every decision impacts other things as well. You can’t act independently. When one thing happens, there’s a residual effect to it one way or another as part of the conversation.

“We’ll just have to do the best that we can to balance all those things out. That’s something we’ll have to give some thought to and get as much information as possible because there are some guys that are in various stages of physical health. We’ll have to work our way through all of that. It’s definitely a challenging situation. I wish I had a cleaner answer on it. Really, you’re just going to have to work it out.”

As for Hightower, who was making his first start back Sunday since injuring his left knee in Denver on Nov. 29, Belichick acknowledged there’s a very fine line drawn between bringing a player back and giving him more time away from the risk of further injury. It’s an issue that will no doubt arise when Edelman makes his push to play.

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Read More: New England Patriots, New York Jets, Patrick Chung, Rob Gronkowski

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