Los Angeles Chargers safety Adrian Phillips

Former Los Angeles Chargers safety Adrian Phillips signs with Patriots

  • Adrian Phillips
  • los angeles chargers
  • New England Patriots
  • nfl free agency
By Donnie Zelaya March 21, 2020 0 Comment
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The New England Patriots have signed safety, Adrian Phillips. The move provides Bill Belichick with another versatile, hybrid defensive weapon.

The New England Patriots emerged from hiding to make the most Patriots signing in bringing safety Adrian Phillips into the fold. Never one to be rattled, Bill Belichick continues to do what Bill Belichick does best. He assesses talent, determines a player’s value relative to the Patriots’ scheme, then signs him to a team-friendly deal.

The contract is for two-years, $6 million, with $3 million guaranteed.  As a member of the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, Phillips was the Swiss Army Knife of the Chargers secondary. His versatility allowed him to line up at either safety position and linebacker when the Chargers were in their dime defense.

Undrafted out of Texas, Phillips took two years before solidifying his spot on the Chargers roster. He eventually earned All-Pro recognition for his special teams efforts in 2018.

How Adrian Phillips fits in New England

Phillips checks off all the boxes necessary for a Patriots defensive player – versatile – check, intelligent – check (Chargers coach Anthony Lynn referred to Phillips as the “captain” in the secondary) Playing multiple positions in the defensive backfield means you need to learn the keys and responsibilities for every spot. It requires intense film study and a commitment to the memory of every potential defensive alignment and scheme that week. It also requires the ability to line up teammates in the proper position.

All told, Phillips couldn’t be any more in the mold of an ideal Patriots defensive player even if he was made in a lab by the evil genius scientist Belichick himself. Also, if primarily plays special teams, pairing him with Patriots special teams star Matthew Slater doubles down on the talent and skill often overlooked in the third phase of football.

Defensively, he more than likely slots in behind Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, but as both players will be 33 at the start of the season. Both players have been durable throughout their respective careers, until last season, when Chung missed three games. Conversely, McCourty has been the definition of durable missing only five games in his ten-year career with the Patriots.

Eventually, when the wheels begin to fall off either McCourty or Chung, both Belichick and Phillips will be ready. It’s “The Patriot Way.”

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