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Patriots re-signing Daniel Ekuale, continuing offseason focus on keeping defense together

BOSTON -- If anything has been made clear in the run-up to free agency and over this past week it's that the New England Patriots really liked their defense last year.

That can be found in the team's efforts to re-sign essentially every defensive free agent on the team, most recently keeping defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale in the fold.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that Ekuale is returning to the Patriots for 2023.

The Athletic's Chad Graff reported it's a two-year deal worth up to $6 million.

The 29-year-old Ekuale has spent the last two seasons in New England, after playing for the Browns in 2019 and the Jaguars in 2020. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound D-lineman played in a career-high 15 games last season, recording 14 total tackles (10 solo), two sacks, and a pass defense. He was on the field for 32.2 percent of the team's defensive snaps, while also playing 12.5 percent of the special teams snaps.

Ekuale is the sixth defensive free agent to re-sign with the Patriots this offseason, joining linebacker Mack Wilson, safety Jabrill Peppers, defensive tackle Carl Davis, cornerback Jonathan Jones, linebacker Raekwon McMillan. The team also extended an RFA tender to cornerback Myles Bryant.

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