The New England Patriots are rewarded defensive end Rob Ninkovich while he serves a four-game suspension.
Ninkovich, who is currently suspended four games for testing positive for a banned substance, signed a one-year contract extension with the Patriots on Sunday, according to the Boston Globe. The deal will keep the defensive end with the team through 2017.
He will get $1 million in base salary and a $1.5 million signing bonus in 2016 and $1 million in base salary in 2017 as well.
The 32-year-old has been in New England since 2009, making him one of the longest tenured Pats. Ninkovich has been an ironman with the team. He has played in 116 straight games (including playoffs), per ESPN.
Last season Ninkovich was elected as team captain. The veteran defensive end had 52 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 2015. He has 428 tackles and 42 sacks in his 11-year career.
Ninkovich will likely play a reserve role when he returns to the team in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns. New England will also get a fellow by the name of Tom Brady back that same week.
Although a productive player in New England, Ninkovich’s extension is somewhat of a head-scratcher considering he is currently on a four-game suspension for breaking league rules. It’s not often that a player agrees to a deal while on suspension.