Pats continue taking care of their own with Tavai extension

A few years ago, it felt like Jahlani Tavai was simply one of those classic journeymen that Bill Belichick brought in on a cheap deal to try and fill a void.

Low expectations and he’d be gone in a year or two.

Well, Tavai has now become one of the locker room leaders and an important voice on the field too. So important in fact, that Eliot Wolf and the organization agreed to a three-year extension with a maximum value of $21 million and a base salary of $15 million. The deal was first reported by Mike Reiss and Adam Schefter on Tuesday afternoon. 

Tavai is entering his sixth year in the NFL and is coming off a career season where he started 16 games, made 110 tackles (65 solo) and five tackles for a loss. After being drafted by Detroit in 2019, Tavai played his first two seasons with the Lions before joining the Patriots prior to the 2021 season.

Not only has Tavai improved on the field, but he’s become one of the key voices on defense and in the locker room. Throughout this offseason, the Patriots have clearly made it a priority to re-sign guys they believe not only help the team, but fit the culture that’s being re-established as well.

No one is better for that culture shift for Tavai. He’s been a standup guy to speak with postgame after a couple of ugly seasons and as far as his talent, with Dont’a Hightower now leading the linebackers, you’d have to expect that Tavai’s impact on the field will only grow as he learns under both Hightower and new head coach Jerod Mayo for at least the next three years.

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