Patriots extend LB Jahlani Tavai through 2024 after breakout season


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One of the Patriots’ most surprising defensive contributors this season is getting some new bread.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported Tuesday the team is extending linebacker Jahlani Tavai to a two-year deal worth $4.4 million that will keep him around through 2024.

Tavai, a former second-round pick of the Detroit Lions when Matt Patricia coached there, has earned a starting role in New England since the Detroit game in Week 5 and has played by far the best football of his career here. He’s currently the second-highest graded inside linebacker after Ja’Whaun Bentley and has not missed a tackle all season, according to Pro Football Focus.

He’s also been passable in coverage thus far, which was a major concern for the linebacker group this season, and regularly contributes on special teams.

Though he wasn’t a terrible splashy addition to the Patriots’ defense and doesn’t wholly address the unit’s need for dynamic talent, Tavai has certainly outplayed expectations for New England so far. Now, he’ll get a few more seasons to prove he can keep doing so.

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