Following extension, Davon Godchaux is looking to prove Bill Belichick right

Belichick called Godchaux one of the best defensive linemen in football after the Patriots extended him.

Davon Godchaux was greeted with a lot of appreciation on Thursday. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots ended the first day of training camp by extending and giving defensive tackle Davon Godchaux a pay raise. Bill Belichick opened Day 2 of camp by heaping praise on the veteran.

“He’s one of the best defensive linemen in the league,” Belichick said when asked why the Patriots wanted to keep Godchaux around for two more seasons after 2022. “Glad we were able to work that out with Davon and [his agent] Drew [Rosenhaus]. Obviously, both sides are happy, contract’s signed, you know. Go forward.”

Godchaux received a two-year, $20.8 million contract extension from the Patriots with $17.85 million guaranteed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.


The $10.4 million in average annual value on Godchaux’s new deal would make him the 13th highest-paid defensive tackle in 2022, per Spotrac. That seems like a hefty number for a player who was relatively quiet in 2021, his first season with the Patriots. Godchaux had just a sack and five QB hits last season.

However, Godchaux worked well as a run-stopper in 2021. His 42 solo tackles were tied for the 12th-most among all defensive linemen and 23 assisted tackles were tied for the fourth-most among defensive tackles last season. Godchaux showed up more in the stat sheet as the season went along, too. He recorded at least five solo tackles in four of the Patriots’ final six regular-season games, with his 10 combined tackle game against the Bills in Week 13 being the best of the season.

Now, Godchaux’s looking to not just prove he’s worth the money, he’s looking to prove Belichick’s comment right.

“If I’m being honest, yes I do,” Godchaux said when asked if he considers himself one of the best defensive linemen in the league. “I feel like to be a good D-tackle you’ve got to first be able to stop the run. No good D-tackle is just going to be a pass rusher. It’s not just me, but I do consider myself one of the best defensive linemen.”


Godchaux, 27, said he was “glad” and appreciative to hear Belichick’s comments, but also said he had more work to do, especially as a leader.

“I’m still learning. Entering Year 6, a lot of people look at me like an old guy but I look at me like I’m still young. I’ve been a starter all six years in the league, thank God. But I just want to keep the leadership growing. I’m not really a ‘rah, rah’ guy, I’m more of a lead by example, leading the first one in drills. I’m not really a jump in your face [type]. That’s not my style. I’m always going to lead by example.”

Godchaux arguably had his best season in 2019, which was his first playing under former Patriots defensive coach Brian Flores in Miami with the Dolphins.

The familiarity between the Flores-ran Dolphins and the Patriots made the transition to New England easy, Godchaux said.

“It fits me,” Godchaux said with New England. “I feel like when I first signed here, this was home. Coming from Miami with Coach Flores, they ran the same system and I came here and I was a plug-and-play. I fit right in. Bill, you know, he’s honest. Positive criticism. He’s going to hold you accountable. I needed a coach like that. When I got here, it was everything that I thought it was.”


The follow-up to Godchaux’s career year in 2019 was dampened by a biceps injury in 2020 that forced him to miss 11 games. So, getting back on track in 2021 with a new team has him feeling good entering 2022.

“Coming off a biceps injury, coming into an organization like this, a lot [was] expected,” Godchaux said. “I want to make sure that I live up to those expectations each and every day.”

He doesn’t plan to let his new contract change his ways, either.

“Never let the money change me,” Godchaux said. “I’m the same person, still have the same hunger each and every day. I’m going to play the same way. It’s not going to change me getting better every day, coming with the same attitude, being the first one in line. I’m happy but not satisfied.”

As his time with reporters ended Thursday, Godchaux was asked how he plans to spend the new money. He didn’t answer, but his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, gave a suggestion.

“Pay me!”


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