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Looking ahead to the contract talks between the Patriots and first-round pick Nate Solder

05.06.11 at 12:52 pm ET
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Despite the labor uncertainty, it’s never too early to look ahead at the possible negotiation process between the Patriots and their draft picks, especially first rounder Nate Solder.

Solder lists his representation as David Dunn and Mark Humenik of Athletes First, which historically has a good working relationship with the Patriots. Known primarily as an agency that reps bigger name quarterbacks (in the past they have worked with Drew Bledsoe, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez, Matt Schaub and Matt Hasselbeck), they represented three members of last year’s draft class in Aaron Hernandez, Zoltan Mesko and Zac Robinson, and all three of those deals were wrapped up relatively quickly. In addition, they also serve as the agency for veteran Patriots Wes Welker and Brandon Meriweather.

By way of historical comparison, last year’s No. 17 overall pick Mike Iupati, was also an offensive lineman (a guard) that ended up going to San Francisco. Before the start of last season, Iupati signed a five-year, $18.25 million contract with $10.8 million guaranteed. No one is sure what the new labor agreement might have in store, but based on last year’s template, because tackle is probably a slightly higher value position that guard, Solder could see a slight bump from what Iupati received.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, David Dunn, Drew Bledsoe, Mark Humenik
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