Patriots Defender Reportedly Not Happy With Transition Tag

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Written By Maya Cantina

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots are preparing for their first NFL Draft without legendary coach Bill Belichick in a long time.

If their offseason dealings are any indication of the new management’s tactics, NFL players may become wary of the storied franchise.

That observation starts with safety Kyle Dugger, a 2020 second-round draft pick who was eligible to test the free agency market for the first time this offseason.

Instead, New England opted for the seldom-used transition tag to retain the safety, reportedly upsetting Dugger.

Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald wrote Sunday that the player had not signed his one-year deal, reportedly worth $13.2 million.

“Dugger remains dissatisfied with the transition tag, a one-year, $13.2 million placeholder that will keep him here in New England,” Callahan wrote, via NESN.com. “As of late this week, he had not signed the tag.”

The transition tag is a one-year offer, allowing the player’s original franchise to match any offer another team makes the athlete.

Transition tags offer players a pay increase as the franchise agrees to pay an average of the top-10 salaries at that position.

In Dugger’s case, free agency could have yielded a significant bump beyond his rookie contract and this one-year pact.

Callahan wrote that a trade for Dugger was not out of the question, but the value New England would get in return – potentially a fourth-round pick – was unappealing to the Patriots.

He was third on the New England’s defense last season with 109 total tackles.

The 28-year-old safety has recorded nine interceptions over his first four seasons and has 2.5 sacks as a Patriot.

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