New England Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, who led the team with 125 tackles last season, has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the team through the 2025 season, a source familiar with the contract has confirmed.

Bentley was under contract for 2023 and was set to earn up to $4.25 million between base salary, bonuses and incentives. Factoring in the two-year extension, Bentley can now earn a maximum value of $18.75 million over the next three seasons, according to a source. Of that total, $9 million is guaranteed.

The news of Bentley’s extension was first reported by NFL Network.

Entering his sixth NFL season, Bentley has emerged as a defensive stalwart, with linebackers coach Jerod Mayo saying last December: “I’m not sure why he doesn’t get much publicity, but he’s one of the best ‘backers in the league.”

Bentley started all 17 regular-season games last season and was cited by Mayo as a key player this spring in helping the defense fill the void of communication and leadership created by safety Devin McCourty’s retirement.

“You saw the season that he put together last year,” Mayo said in April. “He is very smart, knows the entire defense. He’s fast, big, strong at the point of attack. He’s just a great player. … With the loss of Devin, it’s going to take multiple people, but what I will say is that Bentley will be a huge cornerstone to that rebuild.”

The 6-foot-2, 244-pound Bentley entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft choice out of Purdue in 2018. He has spent his NFL career in New England and broke through in 2020 when he was elected as a co-captain for the first time by his teammates and was a full-time starter.

He’s been a captain each of the past three seasons. At Purdue, he was the first three-time captain in school history.

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Source – Patriots, LB Ja’Whaun Bentley agree to extension