The New England Patriots are getting some reinforcements for the 2021 campaign.
Linebacker Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon are planning to come back for next season after opting out of the 2020 campaign, sources told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Hightower and Chung are key veteran pieces on New England's defense. Hightower has spent his entire career with the Patriots while Chung has played 10 of his 11 years in the league with the team.
The 30-year-old linebacker has been a steady presence in the middle of the defense, providing 505 tackles and 25.5 sacks during his tenure.
Chung has played 141 career games in New England, recording 11 interceptions and 778 tackles.
Cannon could factor into the team's offensive line but is set to account for a $9.6-million cap hit this year, per Spotrac. He's started every game he's appeared in since 2016.
The Patriots finished 7-9 last season. The offense finished 27th in yardage while the defense came in at 15th. New England played the 2020 campaign with a league-leading eight opt-outs.