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Report: Chris Board, special teams ace, signs with the Patriots

Bill Belichick is adding one of the Lions best special teams players from their 2022 roster.

Detroit Lions vs Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The player who had the most special teams snaps (359) on the Detroit Lions roster last season, linebacker Chris Board, has reached an agreement with the New England Patriots on a new two-year contract reportedly worth up to $6.7 million, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Board has long been considered one of the best special teams players in the NFL and was arguably one of the top contributors on the Lions' special teams last season. Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick was so impressed with Board, that when New England and Detroit faced off in Week 5, he made a point to acknowledge him in his mid-week press conference.

“Board, that’s the best special teams player we’ll play against all year. He’s great. A great player.”

To give you an idea of how important special teams are to Belichick, compare the contract he gave to Board versus the one-year, $1.7 million deal Miami gave to former Lions starting safety DeShon Elliott.

Typically, the Lions carry six linebackers on their active roster, three to contribute on defense and three to contribute on special teams. Last season Alex Anzalone, Malcolm Rodriguez, and Derrick Barnes were their defensive contributors and all of them are under contract in 2023.

The three special teamers were Board, Josh Woods, and Anthony Pittman. Pittman was tendered as an exclusive rights free agent and will be back with the team in 2023, but Woods is an unrestricted free agent. With Board no longer in Detroit, the Lions will likely want to make sure they increase their attention on Woods, who was their special teams' captain last season.

Follow all of the latest Lions moves with our 2023 free agency tracker, and our offseason news and rumors tracker.

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