Report: Patriots re-sign special teams ace Justin Bethel to three-year deal

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Mike Masala
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The New England Patriots have started off their Friday morning with a couple of important signings for the future of their team.

After re-signing quarterback Cam Newton to another incentive-laden one-year deal, New England re-signed a key special teams contributor in Justin Bethel to a three-year deal worth $6 million, as reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

The contract, which includes $2.75 million in guaranteed money and some Pro Bowl incentives, is set to keep the 30-year-old tied to the Patriots until at least 2023. This significant move gives Bill Belichick’s team a solid plan in case perennial Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater doesn’t return to the field this coming season.

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Since arriving in New England in October of 2019, Bethel has been electric to watch on the coverage teams. His ability earned him three Pro Bowl selections and two First-Team All-Pro selections during his time with Arizona.

The duo of Slater and Bethel won every First-Team All-Pro nomination from 2011-2016, and it’s clear the two have been two of the best in the league over the last decade. Combining their forces over the last two seasons has resulted in multiple highlight plays to give the Patriots’ defense optimal field position.

If Slater does decide to return for his 14th season, fans will be thrilled to get another year of the best coverage units in the NFL. Throw them in with All-Pro punter Jake Bailey and All-Pro returner Gunner Olszewski and the team will have at least one phase that’s a must-watch in 2021.