After returning to the New England Patriots last season, Tully Banta-Cain collected 10 sacks and impressed the team enough that they signed the linebacker to a three-ear deal that could be worth up to $19 million, according to The Boston Globe.
Banta-Cain will make a minimum of $4.5 million per season, according to the Globe, and he may be able to make up to $19 million based on the incentives in the contract.
He also spent time playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
As part of the deal, he also will earn a $6 million signing bonus, the Globe reports.
My evaluation: Considering defensive ends Julius Peppers and Kyle Vanden Bosch are heading to new teams in Chicago and Detroit, Banta-Cain is a decent keeper for the Patriots but they have much more work to do to land a sack master either through the draft or free agency.
Banta-Cain has a high motor and is a good player, but matching last year's numbers will be hard to do. Hopefully the team makes enough moves so Banta-Cain become a solid backup as opposed to being a starter. If they don't make upgrades at outside linebacker or defensive end, you can expect another season sans a pass rush ala 2009.