Love and the Patriots have agreed to a contract extension that eliminates the possibility that Love will become a restricted free agent after the 2012 season. Love was set to make $540,000 before the extension, which runs through 2013 and has a total value of $3.09 million.
“We appreciate the Patriots stepping up to make commitment to Kyle at a time when they didn’t have to,” Love’s agent Sean Stellato said, via the Boston Globe. “We’re very pleased with that and hopefully it will lead to him being here long term. Kyle’s deserving. A very hard working kid who worked his way up from being undrafted.”
Love had a strong year stopping the run in 2011 and has established himself as a key part of the team’s defensive line rotation on early downs. In the preseason, he’s been given a broader portfolio and showed that he has the capability to handle it against the Eagles on Monday night when his pass rush up the middle helped lead to the Jermaine Cunningham hit that knocked Michael Vick out of the game.
With Jonathan Fanene gone, Love appears to be in line for plenty of playing time this season. If he builds on what he’s shown thus far, the Patriots got rid of a potential headache next offseason by agreeing to this extension.