Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Patriots safety Chung to Eagles
By Mike Reiss
In a move that doesn't come as a surprise, the Patriots and safety Patrick Chung are heading in different directions, as Chung has signed with the Eagles on the first day of free agency. The Eagles announced the move.
Chung had fallen out of favor with the Patriots' coaching staff, playing just two snaps in the AFC Championship Game. That was one of the clearest indications that his days with the Patriots were numbered, and now he reunites with a coach with Oregon ties, Chip Kelly, with the Eagles. Kelly was Oregon's offensive coordinator in Chung's final two seasons with the Ducks.
Chung was selected with the draft choice (second round, 34th overall) that the Patriots acquired from the Chiefs in exchange for quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel. In retrospect, it's a trade in which neither team received the desired result.
Chung opened the 2012 season as a starter alongside Steve Gregory, but after injuring his shoulder late in an Oct. 14 loss at Seattle never regained his spot on the depth chart. The Patriots ultimately moved Devin McCourty from cornerback to safety and Chung was utilized as a reserve upon his return.
In his four seasons with the Patriots, Chung played in 50 of a possible regular-season games, as he battled a series of injuries. He totaled 235 tackles (coaches tabulations), three sacks and seven interceptions, while adding 25 special teams tackles.
The Patriots have McCourty, Gregory, 2012 second-round draft choice Tavon Wilson and 2012 sixth-round draft pick Nate Ebner atop the current safety depth chart.