- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Patriots defensive lineman Kyle Love, an ascending player entering his third NFL season, has had his contract extended through the 2013 season. The extension has a total maximum value of $3.09 million and included a $500,000 signing bonus.
The contract, which was negotiated by Richard Kopelman and Sean Stellato of KLASS Sports, appears to be along the same lines of contracts the agents negotiated previously for former Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton and current Patriots starting cornerback Kyle Arrington.
When reached for comment, Kopelman said: “We appreciate the Patriots getting this deal done for Kyle. In doing so, the Patriots recognized the significant contributions Kyle has made and most definitely will continue to make in the coming years. Kyle is appreciative of the Patriots for doing this at a time when they weren’t obligated to do so.”
The 6-foot-1, 315-pound Love was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after the season.
Love, who made the team as a rookie free agent in 2010 out of Mississippi State, projects as a starter alongside Vince Wilfork in the team’s revamped defense. He was a backup as a rookie, and emerged as a first- and second-down option as a run-stuffer last season (50 percent of the snaps). This year, he is primed to potentially become a three-down player, staying on the field in passing situations as a penetrating presence.
In Monday night’s preseason loss to the Eagles, Love’s interior rush was what ultimately produced Jermaine Cunningham’s sack that knocked Michael Vick out of the game.
It might not have been a coincidence that the deal with Love came together one day after the club released defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene. While Love and Fanene have different strengths as players, they do play the same position.