The New England Patriots have boosted their defense by bringing back defensive lineman Danny Shelton, whom they acquired from the Cleveland Browns last season via trade. The Patriots announced the signing but did not release details of the contract. On his Twitter account, Shelton confirmed the signing, tweeting “All Glory to God! Have a blessed day everyone. #Year5 #BackToWork #PatsNation.” The Patriots released center Jake Eldrenkamp to accommodate Shelton on the 90-man roster. Last season, Shelton played 13 games, with one start for the Patriots, recording 21 total tackles, one QB hit and one tackle for a loss.

Shelton made key tackle in Super Bowl LIII

The 6-foot-2, 345-pound Shelton also suited up for two playoff games with the Patriots, recording a key tackle against Los Angeles Rams running back CJ Anderson in their 13-3 win en route to a sixth Super Bowl crown. A first-round pick (12th overall) by the Browns in 2015, Shelton played his first three NFL seasons in Cleveland. With his signing, the Patriots defensive tackle depth chart now consists of Lawrence Guy, Mike Pennel, Adam Butler, Frank Herron, Ufomba Kamalu, David Parry, Byron Cowart, and Shelton.

Patriots interested in signing Gerald McCoy

After Shelton’s signing, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times said the Patriots have considered adding another veteran to their defensive line in six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released McCoy in the offseason, rather than pay him $13 million for next season. Before the Buccaneers released McCoy, they allowed his camp to negotiate with other teams, and the Patriots expressed interest in acquiring the veteran, according to Stroud.

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Stroud reported that McCoy is already stable financially as he earned over $100 million in his nine-year NFL career. “At this point in his career, he figured if he’s going to sacrifice salary, it will be to win a championship with a perennial playoff contender like the New England Patriots,” Stroud said. If the Patriots pursue McCoy, he will be reunited with former Buccaneers teammate, defensive end Michael Bennett, whom New England acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Patriots an appealing destination for McCoy

Despite his long tenure in the NFL, McCoy never reached the playoffs so the Patriots will be an attractive destination for the 31-year-old veteran. Last season, McCoy never reached the Pro Bowl, but he remained as a disruptive force on the field. McCoy recorded six sacks and 21 quarterback hits. After recently signing linebacker Jamie Collins to a one-year deal, the Patriots entered Monday with just $3.6 million in salary cap space so McCoy will have to accept a huge pay cut to have a strong shot at a Super Bowl ring.

Next season, head coach Bill Belichick will also act as defensive coordinator.

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