Patrick Chung is once again a member of the New England Patriots, but no one knows quite what to make of it.
On the surface, it looks as if Bill Belichick is replacing one expensive safety that doesn't wrap up when "tackling" in Steve Gregory with an inexpensive safety that doesn't wrap up either - both undersized and both looking to deliver the big hit...
...but while Gregory may be just about ready for the old-safety's home with years of wear on his legs, Chung may be worth a look in camp to see if his experience of being unwanted in New England and tossed out on his ass in Philadelphia was enough to break him of his lone-stallion ways and made him ready to be a part of the team.
The Patriots signed Chung on Thursday to probably a fraction of what he made playing for the Eagles last season, most likely in hopes that the 5' 11", 215 pound hard-hitting safety and former core special teamer can provide some competition in OTA's and in camp, perhaps using him as the equivalent of baseball's Mendoza Line to provide a bare minimum performance level in the safety corps, much the same as they did with Michael Jenkins and the receivers last preseason.
Though details of his contract have not been released, if can be reasonably assumed that the six-year veteran out of Oregon took a hefty pay cut to return to Foxborough.
The veteran minimum salary for a player with at least six years accrued is $685,000 according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and represents the low water mark for what the team might have offered Chung, with the seven year veteran minimum of $810,000 the top of the scale - the actual dollar amount landing somewhere between the two in all probability.
Regardless of the dollar amounts involved, Chung will not be guaranteed a roster spot, as second year man Duron Harmon has the inside track to the starting strong safety position opposite 2nd team All Pro Free Safety Devin McCourty, barring a major move at the position in the draft.
All told, the Patriots now have seven seven safeties - Chung, McCourty, Harmon, Adrian Wilson, Nate Ebner and Tavon Wilson - but that Patriots may not keep any more than four or five on the roster.