Maybe the second time is the charm.
Safety Patrick Chung, one of the few top draft choices in Bill Belichick’s tenure who didn’t emerge as a big-time contributor, re-signed with the club on Thursday, the team announced.
Chung spent last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, who had signed him to a three-year, $10 million contract on March 12, 2013. But he had a disappointing season, and the Eagles released Chung almost exactly one year later, on March 11, 2014.
Chung, who turns 27 in August, played in 12 games last season with 10 starts.
With the Patriots from 2009 to 2012, he played in 50 games with 30 starts and was a regular on special-teams units. When the Patriots released veteran safety Steve Gregory on Feb. 28, it depleted their depth, and Chung fills that void at a fraction of the cost. Still, he will have to compete for a roster spot and shouldn't be viewed as a roster lock.
"I'm glad to be back. It's like family here. It feels like home,” Chung said on a conference call. "I love the fans, love the coaches, love the environment, love the city. It was like a blessing."
"I can't really tell you why things didn't work out in Philly. I don’t make those decisions. You know, Philly is a great city, there are a lot of great people there; great locker room, great coaches. But I feel now that this has happened, I feel like it’s a better fit here," he said.
Chung entered the NFL as a high second-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2009. He was selected with the pick that was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel.