For years, the New England Patriots struggled putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Year after year, Patriots’ fans would sit anxiously waiting for the team to fix their pass rush woes. So far this season, the team has answered the bell.
With pass rushers on the outside the likes of Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, and Michael Buchanan, along with Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly on the interior defensive line, the Patriots’ pass rush has improved in a big way.
Now, the team has taken a major step toward keeping this formidable defensive line intact. On Sunday, the team agreed to a contract extension with Ninkovich. The deal is worth $15 million over three years according to multiple reports.
Ninkovich, who has accumulated 20 sacks in his five seasons with the Patriots, has been one of the team’s most consistent pass rushers since he joined the organization in 2009.
This has been especially true the last two-plus seasons as he has 15 total sacks since 2011. Getting a playmaker like that for only $5 million per year is a deal that the Patriots simply could not pass up.
With Jones and Buchanan also coming into their own, the Patriots have gone from a mediocre pass rush to perhaps one of the best in the NFL. The next order of business for the Patriots should be extending Jones as soon as possible.
Like Ninkovich, he is a dynamic pass rusher that will terrorize defenses for years to come. For now, though, the Patriots have locked up a legitimate defensive playmaker for mere peanuts that will be a main contributor on their defense for years to come.