Patriots Signing DB Justin Bethel, Releasing DB Jordan Richards

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Patriots are signing DB Justin Bethel to a contract after he visited with the team on Tuesday. 

  • Field Yates reports that the Patriots are releasing DB Jordan Richards

Bethel is regarded as one of the best special teams players in the league.

Baltimore made the decision to release Bethel in order to protect a fourth-round compensatory pick they could have lost.

Bethel, 29, is a former sixth-round pick of the Cardinals back in 2012. He played out his rookie contract before signing a four-year, $15.66 million contract that included $9 million guaranteed with Arizona back in 2015.

Bethel was set to make base salaries of $4.5 million and $5 million over the final two years of the agreement when he agreed to a restructured contract that allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent last year. 

The Falcons signed Bethel to a contract for the 2018 season before he joined the Ravens this past March. 

In 2019, Bethel has appeared in seven games for the Ravens and recorded four tackles and a fumble recovery.

Richards, 26, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2015. The Patriots traded him to the Falcons last year for a conditional seventh-round pick.

Richards played out the final year of his four-year, $3.711 million contract and made a base salary of $705,000 for the 2018 season. He signed a one-year deal with the Raiders this offseason but was released coming out of the preseason.

New England brought Richards back a few weeks ago. 

In 2019, Richards has appeared in three games for the Patriots and recorded two tackles.

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