Mike Reiss of ESPN, citing a league source, reports that the Patriots are ironing out final details with special teams coach Joe Judge to bring him back for the 2018 season.
Reiss says there are still some minor details to be finalized, but the expectation is that this deal will get done.
Shortly after the news broke that Josh McDaniels had backed out his agreement with the Colts and was returning to New England, Mike Garafolo reported that Judge would remain with the Patriots and had also turned down the job with the Colts.
Judge’s contract expired, making him a notable free agent. However, it appears as though Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ front office did all they could to keep McDaniels and Judge with the organization.
Judge, 36, began his coaching career at Mississippi State back in 2005 as a graduate assistant. He spent three years in that role before being hired by Birmingham-Southern as their linebackers coach for the 2008 season.
From there, Judge was hired as Alabama’s special teams assistant before taking the same position on the Patriots’ staff three years later. Judge worked his way up to special teams coordinator in 2015.
Football Outsiders has the Patriots’ special teams unit rated as the No. 3 unit in the league this past season.