Agent: Patriots agree to contract with special-teamer Nate Ebner

Nate Ebner is returning for a fifth season with the Patriots. AP photo/Jim Mahoney

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots and safety/special teams standout Nate Ebner have reached agreement on a new contract, according to Ebner's agent, Sean Stellato.

Ebner's 11 special-teams tackles in 2015 ranked third on the team behind Matthew Slater (17) and Brandon King (12). The 2012 sixth-round draft choice out of Ohio State plays on the four core special-teams units, which is the primary niche he's carved out with the Patriots during the past four seasons.

He played 46 defensive snaps in the 2015 season, mostly in a specialized role in sub packages.

From this viewpoint, he was viewed as the team's No. 2-rated free agent this offseason because of his projected place on the 46-man game-day roster and role in the kicking game.

The contract agreement is for two years, according to Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet.