Jalen Mills Signs With New England Patriots

Jalen Mills

Five-year NFL veteran defensive back Jalen Mills signed a four-year, $14 million contract with the New England Patriots. Mills started his career at cornerback but spent the 2020 season playing safety for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jalen Mills, New England Patriots, Agree to Contract

After spending the entirety of his rookie contract playing cornerback, Mills signed a one-year deal with the Eagles to serve as their strong safety for the duration of the 2020 campaign. Additionally, Mills also changed his jersey number, abandoning his old 31 and taking up 21. The changes suited him well, as Mills finished the season with 1.5 sacks, 74 tackles, four tackles-for-loss, five quarterback hits, and one interception. He started in all 15 games in which he played and ended the year as the NFL’s 28th-best safety, according to the folks over at Pro Football Focus.

Mills initially entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Selected by the Philadelphia Eagels, Mills faced an uphill battle to earn a spot on the opening day roster. However, the LSU product overcame the odds and made it onto the Week 1 roster. Overall, Mills appeared in 16 games as a rookie (two starts) while recording 62 tackles and seven defended passes.

After his impressive rookie season, Mills earned a full-time starting role in 2017. Starting all 15 games in which he was healthy, the former seventh-round pick finished the year with a career-high three interceptions to go along with 64 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, and 14 defended passes. He returned one of his three interceptions for a touchdown and played a big role in helping Philadelphia finish the 2017 season as Super Bowl champions.

Mills remained the starting cornerback for the next two years, although injuries limited him to just 17 games. The then-cornerback suffered a foot injury in Week 8 of the 2018 season, prematurely ending his season and causing him to miss the first six games of the 2019 season.

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