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Patriots signing former first-rounder Jabrill Peppers, per report; ex-Giants safety recovering from torn ACL

The Patriots have stayed relatively quiet during the 2022 NFL offseason, but they added a notable name to their defense on Tuesday, reaching an agreement with former Giants starter and first-round pick Jabrill Peppers on a one-year deal, according to ESPN. The 26-year-old Peppers, who suffered a torn ACL in 2021, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, per Adam Schefter, when he figures to compete for a top spot in New England’s safety rotation.

Lifelong Patriots veteran Devin McCourty returned to the team on a one-year, $9 million deal earlier this offseason, positioning him to start alongside Jalen Mills, but New England has often deployed three-safety looks, with reserves Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger also logging snaps at the position in 2021. Peppers, who brings 59 games of starting experience from his time with the Browns (2017-2018) and Giants (2019-2021), is likely to split time on the back end, if not also at linebacker.

Drafted 25th overall by Cleveland in 2017, Peppers has been a serviceable starter when healthy, logging 79 tackles to go with one interception, three fumble recoveries and five tackles for loss in 2018; then totaling 91 tackles, 2.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss in a 2020 breakout with New York. Traded to the Giants as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. deal, he’s played a full season just once, however, missing five games in 2019 due to a back fracture and all but six games in 2021 with a high-ankle sprain and ACL tear.

Peppers is the third former Browns defender added by New England this year, after cornerback Terrance Mitchell and linebacker Mack Wilson, who was acquired via trade in exchange for Chase Winovich.

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