The most disappointing player on the New England Patriots over the past few years is safety Patrick Chung. A second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Chung was expected to come in and make a physical difference for the Patriots defensive secondary. But after four years, it’s time for the Patriots to part ways with Chung.
After starting one game in his rookie season, Chung became a starting safety for the 2010 season. In his sophomore season Chung continued to improve, recording three interceptions. In his first two years, Chung was considerably healthy in missing just two games, but that would soon change.
After returning as starting safety in 2011, Chung suffered a foot injury during week nine against the New York Giants, forcing him out for the following seven weeks. He returned for the team’s final regular season game and participated in their three postseason games.
Going into the 2012 season, the Patriots were hoping that Chung would return to the health and production of two years prior. Unfortunately after just four games, Chung suffered another injury which kept him out for four games in the middle of the season. Last season was a disappointing season for Chung on the field too. While Chung is a physical safety, which the Patriots desperately need, he appeared slower and struggled anticipating plays which led to his benching.
Another reason to let Chung go is the play of Devin McCourty and Alfonzo Dennard. McCourty made a seamless transition from cornerback to safety last season when the Patriots traded for Aqib Talib. That gives the Patriots leeway for Chung’s departure. The Patriots will probably be looking for a physical safety in the draft to replace Chung with most signs pointing to Florida’s Matt Elam.
But it seems as though Chung’s career as a Patriot is over. Injuries have maligned him over the past three years which in turn, has seen him diminish on the field. It’s time for the Patriots to let go of Chung and find a replacement for the future.