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Patriots agree to terms with S Kyle Dugger on four-year extension worth up to $66 million

New England has struck a deal to avoid the transition tag.

The Patriots agreed to terms with safety Kyle Dugger on a four-year, $58 million extension that can be worth up to $66 million and comes with $32.5 million guaranteed, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported Sunday morning along with's Eric Edholm.

The extension takes place of the transition tag that New England placed on Dugger in March.

That tag, which was worth $13.8 million, was a one-year tender based of the average of the safety position's 10 highest salaries. Dugger's new deal beats that out with a $14.5 million per-year average to move him up to the sixth-highest earner at his position, plus the added years of security to boot.

Dugger earned his big payday over the last four seasons after joining New England in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He started nearly half of the team's games as a rookie before becoming the full-time starter in the defensive backfield in 2021.

Through 61 career games, he's delivered 343 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two pick-sixes on nine interceptions.

A better run defender than a pass-coverage specialist but serviceable in both aspects, Dugger has all the necessary qualities to serve as a bridge from Bill Belichick's historically successful run to the new Jerod Mayo era.

Now locked in for the foreseeable future, the next step for Dugger is to get the Pats back to a top-10 scoring defense -- where the unit ranked for a decade straight before falling off the past two seasons.

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