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Patriots sign Chris Board, a special teams player singled out for praise by Bill Belichick

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine the Patriots’ reported move to sign JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year deal and discuss if he’ll embrace the Patriot way.

Special teams players don’t usually get lucrative contracts, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick has long prioritized special teams, and he has long admired Lions special teams player Chris Board, and so it’s no surprise that Board got a good deal from the Patriots.

Board and the Patriots have agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $6.7 million, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Although contracts are seldom really worth what they’re “worth up to,” there’s little doubt that Belichick considered Board a free agent priority.

The 6-foot-2, 239-pound Board also plays linebacker, but he has played primarily special teams throughout his five-year NFL career. During the regular season, before the Patriots played the Lions, Belichick singled Board out for his special teams play.

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

The Patriots have had some great special teams players in Belichick’s time, most notably Matthew Slater, who’s on the short list of the greatest special teams players in NFL history. Now Belichick has another one.