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Patriots Roster Breakdown: Ja’Whaun Bentley Continues Tradition



New England Patriots linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley (8) gestures as he runs onto the field before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)

There are expected to be a lot of changes in the New England Patriots locker room before the 2024 season gets underway. The coaching staff has already seen significant turnover, most notably with Jerod Mayo replacing Bill Belichick as head coach. But what will the New England roster look like in the fall? Some of that will be determined by players not currently on the team. The NFL Draft and free agency will both bring new faces to Foxboro. But what about the players from 2023? Patriots Football Now will break down all potential 2024 roster players in “Patriots Roster Breakdown” before Week 1 arrives in September.

Today’s Patriots Roster Breakdown featured player is Ja’Whaun Bentley.

Ja’Whaun Bentley

The New England Patriots selected Ja’Whaun Bentley in the fifth round (No. 143 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Of the nine players drafted by New England that year Bentley is the only player still with the team. Only two others (Isaiah Wynn and Braxton Berrios, both with the Miami Dolphins) played in the NFL last season. Bentley played his college career at Purdue. He was with the Boilermakers for four seasons, amassing 272 tackles, including 29.5 tackles for loss.

Ja’Whaun Bentley appeared in only three games as a rookie. He was sidelined with a torn biceps. However, he earned a Super Bowl ring in his first NFL season. Since that 2018 season, Bentley has played in 80 of 85 games, including the postseason.

Bentley recorded over 100 tackles each of the past three seasons, one of 16 NFL linebackers to do so. He  has led the Patriots in tackles each of the past three seasons. Bentley has also been named a team captain three times.


Contract Status

Ja’Whaun Bentley is not scheduled to hit free agency until 2026. He signed a two-year contract extension last offseason, worth $13.4 million. There is no guaranteed money for 2025. Bentley’s cap number that season is $7.33 million, as opposed to a $1,83 million dead cap hit if he is waived.

Linebacker Group

The New England Patriots linebacker group is in excellent shape heading into 2024. The unit features Ja’Whaun Bentley, Matthew Judon, Jahlani Tavai, Anfernee Jennings, Josh Uche, Raekwon McMillan, and Joe Giles-Harris. Only Takitaki is new to the Patriots in 2024, replacing the departed Mack Wilson Sr.

Outlook for Ja’Whaun Bentley

The New England Patriots have featured a long line of linebackers during Robert Kraft’s tenure who have served as team leaders. Previous players include Tedy Bruschi, Jerod Mayo, and Dont’a Hightower. All three played their entire NFL careers with the Patriots. Ja’Whaun Bentley following suit would not be a surprise. With Mayo (head coach) and Hightower (inside linebackers coach) now on New England’s staff, perhaps there is a spot in the coaches’ room for the current Patriots captain when his playing days are done.