Why the New England Patriots should re-sign defensive lineman Danny Shelton.
A year ago at this time, re-signing big, interior defensive lineman Danny Shelton wasn’t high on the New England Patriots to-do list, but now the mammoth nose tackle is poised to make some serious dough on the open market.
What kind of contract will Shelton demand? That will depend on how valuable other teams around the league view Shelton. With the league trending back towards running offenses, that value may be high, and the timing couldn’t be better for Washington state native.
In looking back at Shelton’s 2019 NFL season, he truly had a big year playing alongside veteran defensive lineman Lawrence Guy.
More from Chowder and Champions
- 3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox
- 10 Patriots Who Will Be Cut by Tuesday’s Roster Deadline
- MLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return
- 3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 Season
- Red Sox Continue Rollercoaster Season With Massive Win
With more defensive snaps than he had with the team in 2019, Danny Shelton combined for 61 tackles and 3.0 sacks on the season. Not only did his 344-pound frame help stabilize the middle, his quickness for a man his size created some push up the middle.
In all, his hard work and dedication earned praise from Bill Belichick, who also capitalized on a player he brought back on a cheap one-year deal.
"“Danny’s done a good job for us. His second year, I think he came in, he was in good shape, he came in with a great attitude,” Belichick said back in October, as transcribed by Patriotswire.com. “He’s really worked hard to do the things that we’ve asked him to do, which is a little different than what he’d done in the systems that he’d been in in Cleveland. He tried to do that last year, I’d say this year he’s just further ahead on it. Build on the experiences that he had last year and has given us a really good level of play inside.”"
Try to keep Danny Shelton
It could be a similar situation like last offseason when Shelton was allowed to explore the market before ultimately returning on that one-year deal. With his performance in 2019, that is unlikely, so if the Patriots want him back, they will have to be willing to ink a nice-sized contract for him.
Would he be worth it?
Due to his youth and the stability he would add to the defensive line, he is worth it. Lawrence Guy is on the other side of thirty so the team really can’t afford to be thin at that position. Like with the situation with Joe Thuney, the New England Patriots do have a couple younger players who can step in like restricted free agent Adam Butler and 2019 fifth-round pick Byron Cowart.
If Belichick believes either or both of those players will make a big leap in 2020, Shelton will be playing elsewhere. But, with the way he has been trending, Belichick could finally see a player close to replacing the value of Vince Wilfork in Danny Shelton.
The talent and now the commitment is certainly there.