Dugger acknowledges commitment from team to him & others can help in long run

Initially, when the Patriots decided to ‘transition tag’ safety Kyle Dugger this offseason instead of giving him the outright franchise tag, it felt like the organization was making things more tense and unnecessarily difficult.

Ultimately, a deal was reached and Kyle Dugger received a phone call while on the treadmill. Now, he’s got a new four-year, $58 million contract extension that keeps him as one of the foundational pieces and he’s happy to be back.

“I was actually on the treadmill. I was just working out, kind of like…you know, ‘what, what do you want?’ a little agitated,” he said Monday after the first voluntary OTA. “But, once the news was told to me, I was obviously excited, went right back to work. I was really excited about it, talked to them, didn’t really get too much into the details, but I was just happy about it, you know?

“I’m happy to play football again. The business, I kind of let my team, financial team and agent and all that handle that, so I could focus on the main thing. I feel like they did a good job…I definitely am (happy about being signed long term), I definitely am.”

Dugger wasn’t the only guy to re-sign this offseason as Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf made it a point of emphasis to re-sign key pieces of the puzzle here. Dugger, Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Hunter Henry and Kendrick Bourne have all gotten significant financial commitments from the team. The new regime is showing that even if you go 4-13, going about things professionally while representing the Patriots will get you the kind of respect every player wants, which is money. There is no greater sign of respect to players in the NFL than cash.

I asked Dugger how important it was for guys in the locker room to see that type of commitment from an organization. He pointed to the day-to-day grind becoming just a little less monotonous now.

“It just kind of goes into the team. All the little things we talk about, making sure you’re focused on the day-to-day, it makes that easier to do,” he said.

Those little things add up in assuring you aren’t the laughingstock of the league again. If getting paid means more productivity from guys at important positions and more wins thanks to a few more reps, a few more benches or a few more hours of film, then the Mayo/Wolf era is off to a fantastic start.