The New England Patriots will be re-signing special teams ace and defensive back Brandon King to a two-year deal, according to Field Yates of ESPN.
King originally signed with New England as an undrafted free agent on May 8, 2015 after a relatively anonymous career at Auburn. He transferred from Highland College of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference in 2013, eventually appearing in every game for the Tigers over the next two seasons. Though he originally played in the defensive backfield, Auburn moved King to defensive end midway through his senior season in hopes of injecting its defensive line with some much-needed speed.
The Alabaster, Alabama native’s tenure with the Patriots has been an equal testament to his perseverance and versatility. After not starting a single game with Tigers, King was released by New England and signed to the practice squad before the start of the 2015-16 regular season. He was added to the active roster a three weeks later, and has appeared in all but three of the Patriots’ games since that time. However, he has yet to play a single defensive snap as a NFL player despite already appearing in 42 regular-season games and 10 playoff games.
Asked to justify the means behind the Patriots’ longterm success on special teams, the 24-year-old pointed to the preparation he and fellow members of that group put in throughout the regular season.
“There are no shortcuts here,” King told Mark Inabinett of AL.com before the Super Bowl. “We practice the same now as we did Week 1, and it gets embedded in you. We’ve been running for so long that you don’t feel like you’re running anymore.”