The Patriots are making sure Jahlani Tavai will be sticking around Foxborough for the foreseeable future. On Tuesday, the club inked the fourth-year linebacker to a two-year extension that has him tied to the organization through the 2024 season, according to ESPN. The deal is reportedly worth $4.4 million.
Tavai is in the midst of his second season with New England. Initially, the 26-year-old was a second-round pick (No. 43 overall) by the Lions in 2019 out of Hawaii. He was released by Detroit in early September before the 2021 season and eventually found his way to the Patriots, signing on to the team's practice squad. The connection for Tavai between Detroit and New England is Matt Patricia, who was his former head coach with the Lions and is currently on staff with the Patriots.
At the start, Tavai was primarily a special teams player as he largely worked with that unit in his 13 games played last season. This year, however, he's started to emerge on defense. He's started in seven straight games dating back to Week 5 and has been on the field for 52% of the team's defensive snaps this season. Tavai has also continued to work on special teams, appearing in 71% of the club's snaps thus far.
In 11 games played this season, he has 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and four quarterback hits.