The New England Patriots are often content to sit free agency out on the sidelines, but Bill Belichick has splashed a record-setting amount of cash this offseason.
Even after signing players like Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, and Matthew Judon, Belichick had enough money left over to keep defensive tackle Lawrence Guy.
Guy, who came over to New England four years ago after a very brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens, has exceeded New England’s wildest expectations, as he has become a quality run-stuffer, space-eater, and pass-rusher all in one.
Guy could’ve easily decided to take his talents elsewhere, especially with New England having already signed Davon Godchaux and allowed backup Adam Butler to leave for Miami. However, Guy doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Guy, who recently visited with former Patriots defensive assistant Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins, decided to return to New England on a four-year contract, per Mike Reiss.
He might not have Aaron Donald-like numbers, but Guy is a vital member of what New England wants to do on defense.
Lawrence Guy will remain a stud for the Patriots for the next four years.
Guy has started all but four games over the last four seasons for the Patriots, recording 235 tackles and seven sacks in that span. He’s capable of lining up over the center as a traditional nose tackle, but Belichick is more than comfortable putting him as far outside the ball as a 5-tech edge that can rush the passer.
Belichick has recently given into the new-fangled wave of defensive play-calling that puts five or six defensive backs on the field more than ever before. In need of someone who can take on multiple blockers and generate pressure without blitzing most of those defensive backs, Guy has answered the call time and time again.
A four-year contract might seem like a long commitment for a player with his numbers, but he has a very unique skillset, and the number of players with that skillset that hit free agency or can be acquired without surrendering huge chunks of draft capital is not high. Retaining the former seventh-round pick was a must for Belichick.
Guy is the exact definition of everything Belichick wants in a defensive lineman. Even though he doesn’t put up flashy stats or make plays in passing situations, he is a rock-solid run defender that can play several different positions. Having a chess piece like him helps Belichick open up the playbook later in the year.