Patriots Camp

Josh Uche gives contract update, says he'd ‘love' to stay with Patriots

"This is the team that developed me into the player I've become."

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Top-tier pass rushers are very important in today's NFL. It's hard to be a perennial Super Bowl contender without defenders who can create pressure around and/or sack the opposing quarterback on a consistent basis.

New England Patriots linebacker Josh Uche enjoyed a breakout 2022 season that saw him look like one of the league's premier pass rushers at times. He tallied a career-high 11.5 sacks, in addition to tallying 27 total tackles and two forced fumbles in 15 games.

He has gotten better and better each year he's been with the Patriots.

Uche, like many of his teammates, is entering the final year of his contract.

When asked about his contract situation Thursday, Uche revealed that his representatives and the Patriots have been talking.

"They've been in communication. I just didn't want to worry myself with the details," Uche told reporters. "I'll let them handle all the little stuff and (I'll) come out here and work each day."

Uche enjoys living in New England, and he really appreciates the Patriots taking a chance on him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft and developing him into a quality player. It really sounds like Uche wants to be here for a while if both sides can work out a fair contract.

"This is the team that developed me into the player I've become. This is the place I've called home for the last four years," Uche explained. "I'm comfortable. I know the area. I got family out here. I love it out here. I've been able to make myself at home, and I would love to be here. But at the end of the day, I understand it's a business."

The Patriots need to identify their next core. Who are they going to build their next contending roster around? Uche should be one of those players, just like Kyle Dugger, Michael Onwenu, etc.

Signing Uche to a contract extension right now could save the Patriots money, because if he puts up another season of 10-plus sacks, the price to retain him likely would be higher next offseason.

Uche and Matthew Judon form one of the league's best pass-rushing duos. They combined for 27 sacks last season. Keeping that tandem intact as long as possible would be a smart move.

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