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Kyle Dugger will be sticking around New England for a while longer. Dugger will sign a four-year, $58 million contract to remain with the Patriots, according to ESPN. Dugger had been transition-tagged by the Patriots earlier this offseason. 

A second-round pick in 2020 out of Division II Lenor-Rhyne, Dugger has played in 61 of 67 possible games in his career, racking up 343 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 9 interceptions (2 for touchdowns), 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 2.5 sacks, and 9 additional quarterback hits. His combination of size, speed, strength, and agility has allowed him to become an extremely versatile player: He lined up for 478 snaps as a box safety last season, according to Pro Football Focus, along with 371 as a deep safety, 168 as a slot corner, 53 as a perimeter corner, and 45 along the defensive line.  

All of that is why the Patriots made it a priority to retain him, using the transition tag to establish their right of first refusal to match any contract offer he received this offseason. As our Garrett Podell wrote at the time, there are several differences between the transition tag and the more-commonly-used franchise tag: 

One key difference is the price point. The franchise tag is a one-year fully guaranteed salary of the average of the top five salaries at a given player's position over the last five years, or 120% of the tagged player's prior salary, whichever is greater. The franchise tag number this offseason is $17.1 million. The transition tag is a one-year, fully guaranteed salary of the average of the top 10 player salaries at the tagged player's position. 

That is why Dugger will receive $13.8 million on the transition tag instead of the $17.1 million associated with this offseason's safety franchise tag. Another key differentiator between the two tags is the control the tagging team wields if other NFL clubs would like to come swipe the player they just tagged. When a player is on the franchise tag, they can negotiate with the league's 31 other teams, but their current team has the right to match any offer or take two first-round picks if another team signs their franchise-tagged player. 

All the transition tag does is grant the tagging team the right of first refusal to match any contract offer their tagged player may receive.

The $13.8 million value of the transition tag appears to have served as something like a baseline for negotiations here, as Dugger's new deal contains an average annual value of $14.5 million. 

That AAV checks in sixth among safeties leaguewide, ranking behind only Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Antoine Winfield Jr. (franchise tag), Xavier McKinney, and Jessie Bates III. The $58 million base value of Dugger's deal also ranks sixth, putting him behind the same five players, while his $32.5 million guarantee (per NFL Media) checks in fourth, behind just James, Bates, and Fitzpatrick. 

The Patriots still have both plenty of needs on both sides of the ball and plenty of resources to pursue avenues to filling them. They had the most remaining salary cap space in the NFL before signing Dugger to this contract and they also own the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft.