What would it take for Patriots to extend pass-rushing stud Josh Uche?

New England Patriots linebacker Josh Uche has emerged as one of the more promising pass-rushers in the league, and he’s preparing to enter the final year on his contract.

It feels like only yesterday that he was being taken with the No. 60 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft out of the University of Michigan. He was an intriguing pick at the time with all of the talent in the world to be one of the best EDGE defenders in the league.

After two quiet seasons as an NFL pass-rusher, Uche finally exploded and finished the 2022 campaign with 12 sacks, which was second behind Matthew Judon. It is no secret that having Judon in the building has helped his development and production.

Uche isn’t a game wrecker on his own just yet. He still needs to work on his run defense, but he has clearly blossomed into one of the bright spots for the team in a disappointing 2022 season.

He has earned a 74.7 pass-rushing grade for his career, but his run grade, per PFF, is 53.1.

Although Uche is a situational pass-rusher, locking up a 25-year-old rusher is paramount, as EDGE is one of the hardest positions to draft and develop in the NFL.

Uche’s estimated contract could put him in the range of Sam Hubbard, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Josh Sweat. So an average annual value of $11.5 million would be a fair contract for a home-grown, speedy pass-rusher on the up-and-up.

 

Estimated Contract: 4 years $46m, $18m guaranteed. Signed through 2027.

List

Twitter mercilessly roasted Joe Judge, following Giants' big playoff victory

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire