Even with draft 2 weeks later, new CBA means Patriots rookies agreeing to deals at rapid rate
|05.21.14 at 7:00 am ET|
The latest collective bargaining agreement ensures there are no hiccups when it comes to getting rookie deals done and the players on the field as fast as possible — all the salary spots are slotted, so there’s no negotiating that goes on. However, with the draft two weeks later this year, it’s interesting to compare how quickly the deals have been done this year as compared to last season.
By this time last year, the Patriots had four of their seven picks signed: Jamie Collins (second round), cornerback Logan Ryan (third round), safety Duron Harmon (third round) and linebacker Steve Beauharnais (seventh round) were already in the fold as of May 21. (Wide receiver Josh Boyce agreed to a deal on May 24, defensive end Michael Buchanan was signed on May 28 and wide receiver Aaron Dobson signed on June 20.)
Currently, seven of the nine draft picks have agreed to contracts: fourth-rounders Bryan Stork, James White and Cameron Fleming; sixth-rounders Jon Halapio, Zach Moore and Jemea Thomas; and seventh-round pick Jeremy Gallon. New England’s two unsigned picks at this point are first-round pick Dominique Easley and second rounder Jimmy Garoppolo.
For what it’s worth, only six first-round picks have either agreed or signed deals as of Tuesday night.
The biggest logistical hangup for many players is the fact that for some of them, their college graduation has yet to take place, and as a result, they’re not allowed to stick around the facility in Foxboro. White held its graduation on Saturday, and so the rookie was at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday to meet the media. However, Fleming had to return to California until after June 15 when Stanford holds its graduation ceremony.