The Patriots offseason hasn't seen many fireworks, but the team has been quietly productive. After the signing of Jamie Collins last week, the team made a number of additional moves this week.
New England resigned defensive tackle Danny Shelton, whom they had acquired in a trade with Cleveland before the 2018 season. Shelton comes back on a low-level deal worth just over $1 million total. The former first-round pick did not have a particularly brilliant year in 2018. He had just 21 tackles and a single quarterback on the season. He also spent three games as a healthy scratch when the Patriots chose to run with a smaller, faster defensive lineup.
However, this is a positive signing for the Patriots. Shelton provides desperately needed depth at defensive tackle and knows the team's system. 2019 will serve as his last chance to prove that he is more than just a backup defensive lineman.
The more important news for the Patriots this week was the contract extension that the team reached with receiver Julian Edelman. The 33-year old Super Bowl MVP was heading into the last year of his contract. The extension is worth up to $18 million, with an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million in guarantees. Edelman is now under contract with New England through the 2021 season.
This is a big step up for the Patriots legend who had been playing on an extremely team-friendly contract. Edelman has been one of the most clutch and productive receivers in New England history. The team has rewarded him with a contract that will compensate him appropriately and likely allow him to retire a Patriot.
There are some who may be concerned about Edelman's age. He recently turned 33 and will play the 2021 season at 35 years old. Some will worry that he will begin to rapidly decline as his age increases. That is unlikely to be the case with Edelman. He does not rely on elite physical characteristics like speed and strength. He thrives off of toughness, footwork, and elite route running. Edelman's work ethic will enable him to be a protective security blanket for Tom Brady until his retirement rolls around.