Getting to know new Patriots safety Adrian Phillips

Ryan Hannable
April 10, 2020 - 1:37 pm

While the Patriots lost far more players than they gained in free agency, some new players will be with the team over the summer for training camp (provided there is a training camp). Over the next several days, we will take a closer look at each of the new players the Patriots acquired.

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Name: Adrian Phillips

Position: Safety

Age: 28

College: Texas

Experience: 6 years (all with Chargers)

Best season: 2018 - 94 tackles, named to Pro Bowl and also first-team All-Pro as a special teamer.

Salary: Two-year deal where he has a base salary of $1.25 million this year and $2.25 million next year, $750,000 in incentives each year, as well as a $1.5 million signing bonus.

Fun fact: Phillips has a tremendous football IQ. "He's got a football IQ that is, to say compare him to anybody, he's just one of the most elite guys in that area that I've ever been around," his defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said a few years back.

Career summary: The former Charger isn't a typical safety as he plays all over the field and it really depends on what the opposing offense does best. For example, when the Chargers played the Ravens he shadowed Lamar Jackson and then when they played the Chiefs he covered Tyreek Hill. He also contributes a great deal on special teams, which was what got him the Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition in 2018. Last year he missed a good chunk of games due to a broken arm suffered in Week 2.

Potential fit with Patriots: It would seem Phillips is viewed as Nate Ebner's replacement, but an upgrade given his ability to contribute on defense. He also seems like a player Bill Belichick will have fun with on a given week moving him around and it helps that he has such a high football IQ. Given his contract and skill, he seems like a lock to make the team.

Related: Former Patriots executive gives insight into Ernie Adams's role with organization