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Patriots add Adrian Phillips to their secondary

Adrian Phillips, Patriots

The New England Patriots are signing safety Adrian Phillips, per Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal.

Phillips played in just seven games with the Los Angeles Chargers last season due to a broken arm.

However, Phillips was an extremely versatile defender and special teams player for the Chargers in 2018. He had an interception, one forced fumble, nine pass deflections, and 94 combined tackles, and he was named an All-Pro for his work with the special teams unit.

Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald said Phillips figures to be a reserve at safety in addition to featuring prominently with special teams:

He projects as a reserve on the Pats defense and one of their top special teams contributors. He could relieve some of the workload Patrick Chung, 32, has shouldered in recent, injury-plagued seasons. Phillips is exceptionally versatile, able to play in the box, at nickelback and in two-deep zones.

The big story of New England’s offseason has been the loss of quarterback Tom Brady, but they are trying to piece things together despite having limited cap space.

New England re-signed veteran safety Devin McCourty to a two-year deal in order to fortify one of the best secondary units in the league, and Phillips adds even more depth to that group.

Although the Pats slapped the franchise tag on guard Joe Thuney, it is certainly possible they could look to trade him in exchange for draft-pick consideration. This is Bill Belichick, after all.

Regardless, Phillips should provide value in multiple areas as the Pats hope to stay competitive in 2020.