New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 28: Adrian Phillips #21 of the New England Patriots celebrates with teammates after a defensive play against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The Patriots got ahead of handling their internal free agents on Saturday, signing safety Adrian Phillips to a three-year contract extension worth up to $14.5 million. Phillips, who was PFF’s sixth-ranked safety in the NFL heading into Week 17, was set to hit the open market at the end of the season.

Following Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 29-year old safety spoke to the media for the first time since the deal was announced, and shed some light on why he committed to staying in New England over cashing in this spring.

“Yeah I’m here for a little while longer,” Phillips started with a laugh. “I’m glad to be here.”

What is it that makes Phillips glad to be a Patriot? “Really just the culture,” Phillips explained. “From the outside in, you kind of get this stigma about Foxborough like ‘there’s no fun here, blah blah blah,’ whatever it is. And then you get here and you see like, ‘ah, it ain’t like that at all.’ It’s really just hard work. You do your job, you win games, you have fun going to the postseason.”

Phillips also spoke highly of head Coach Bill Belichick. “Being able to be coached by somebody like Coach Belichick – who doesn’t want that opportunity? He’s the greatest coach in the game,” Phillips said. “Just being around his mind and his savvy and just seeing how he operates – this is where I want to be. This is a city built on football, and I just love it. So it was easy for me to be able to get something worked out to stay here.”

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.