Patriots defensive tackle Kyle Love has come a long way since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State in 2010.
After signing a one-year extension through 2013 worth just over $3 million, what can we expect out of Vince Wilfork’s counterpart?
The 25 year old Love had a breakout season in 2011, totaling three sacks and 33 tackles (two tackles for loss) in rotation on the Patriots defensive line. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, Love played about half of the snaps in 2011.
With Love’s rise continuing and the resurgence of former second round pick Ron Brace, it should blunt the loss of free agent signing Jonathan Fanene who was cut earlier this week.
If Brace and Love continue to play well, the Patriots should be able to keep Vince Wilfork fresh. Wilfork played an insane amount of snaps in 2011 and would certainly benefit from his defensive line mates improved play.
With the Patriots using more 4-3 looks than ever, expect to see Love and Wilfork inside at the defensive tackles, with Brace and Brandon Deaderick also seeing some time.
Don’t think for a minute that Love will relax this year with the extra money in his pocket. He took to twitter to say this after news of his extension was released. “Wanna thank everybody for the congrats! The grind still doesn’t stop!”
This is Love’s third year of grinding in the NFL – he certainly earned his pay day.