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A great way to follow Pats’ draft pick contract info 06.01.10 at 2:52 pm ET
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We’€™ve posted a few blog entries on the Patriots‘€™ rookie class and its contract situation (check out the latest one here), and we’€™ve taken a look at the two deals that have been signed (third-round pick Taylor Price and sixth-round choice Ted Larsen) while taking an educated guess as to what the rest of the draft picks could expect this year in the way of contracts.

But Miguel Benzan has managed to put together an impressive breakdown of what each of the 12 draft picks should be expecting. Benzan is the genius behind patscap.com (a site that should be a bookmark for any self-respecting Patriots’€™ fan), so his numbers are worth taking a look at.

‘€œI have done the same chart the past several years,’€ Benzan said in an e-mail. ‘€œThe impetus this year was reading that [Taylor] Price‘€™s contract was worth $3.35 million. I am willing to bet that it is only true if he reaches the escalator that will increase his 2013 salary to the low RFA tender level.’€

Benzan breaks down several salary elements, including base salary, signing bonus and the overall cap hit. In addition, there’€™s a list of the players taken at that same slot last year and what they received. As more and more players’€™ get closer to signing, it’€™s a great resource that’s well-worth keeping an eye on. (You can also follow Miguel on Twitter at twitter.com/patscap.)

Read More: Miguel Benzan, Taylor Price, Ted Larsen,
Kraft says quick rookie deals are ‘business as usual’ 05.27.10 at 2:01 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Despite the looming labor uncertainty, Patriots owner Robert Kraft sounded optimistic Thursday afternoon all 12 of the teams’€™ draft choices will be signed by training camp.

While holdouts in New England are few and far between ‘€” in 2004, Benjamin Watson held out until mid-August before coming to terms with the Patriots ‘€” New England has appeared to get a jump on other teams this spring. It’€™s not even Memorial Day, and they’€™ve already signed two of their picks (third-rounder Taylor Price and sixth-rounder Ted Larsen). Last year, they didn’€™t get their first rookie contract done until June 16.

But Kraft says the earlier signings aren’€™t because of the labor situation.

‘€œNo, we’€™re just trying to do our business,’€ Kraft said of his team. ‘€œWe’€™re doing business as usual. We’€™re trying to put our team in the best position to be able to compete year-in, year-out. And with the facts we have, we’€™re going about our business in a normal manner. I’€™ll be surprised if we don’€™t have all our players in here for training camp.’€

(For what it’€™s worth: When Kraft was quizzed about the two rookies who have signed, he smiled and said ‘€œTwo or three?’€ He was stopped by reporters, who asked ‘€œDo you know something we don’€™t?’€)

Kraft’s point was echoed by Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“We’ve always contacted the players and the agents after the draft process is over, about this time, when they start coming to camp,” Belichick said. “Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think I’d read too much into it. I think Floyd [Reese] and Scott [Pioli] in the past have always done that. Sometimes it comes together, sometimes it’s a process that takes a little longer and people want to wait to see what everybody else is doing.”

Read More: benjamin watson, Robert Kraft, Taylor Price, Ted Larsen
Update on Patriots’ draft class signing information 05.25.10 at 4:17 pm ET
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We ran a complete breakdown of the Patriots‘€™ 12 draft picks and their representation back on May 6, and now that two picks have signed, we figured this is as good a time as any to update the information. (Signing information on last year’€™s deals was culled from the always awesome Mac’€™s Football Blog.)

First-round pick Devin McCourty: The cornerback out of Rutgers is represented by PlayersRep, led by Andy Simms and Nate Haber. Worth noting: McCourty has expressed an interest in signing a deal as soon as possible, and the agency has a history with the Patriots ‘€” the two sides negotiated the Ron Brace deal last year. (Haber tweeted recently “We sincerely look forward to negotiating rookie deals w the Patriots, Lions, Rams, Cowboys, Redskins, and Colts this summer.”) By way of comparison, last year’€™s 27th overall pick (UConn running back Donald Brown) signed a deal with the Colts that was for five years and $12.835 million with $6.845M guaranteed.

Second-round pick Rob Gronkowski: The tight end out of Arizona is represented by Drew Rosenhaus of Rosenhaus Sports. Worth noting: Rosenhaus has worked closely with the Patriots on a number of deals over the last few years, including former Patriots Jabar Gaffney, Chris Hanson and Larry Izzo, as well as current Patriots running back Fred Taylor and cornerback Darius Butler.

Second-round pick Jermaine Cunnigham: The Florida product is represented by Jon Perzley and Brian Mackler of Sportstars. Worth noting: Current Patriots cornerback Jonathan Wilhite is also represented by Sportstars. They also serve as the agency for Seattle wide receiver Deion Branch, and while Branch had a different agent handling his affairs, they were still part of the same agency when the wide receiver was traded after a contract dispute in 2006.

Third-round pick Brandon Spikes: This Florida linebacker, taken 62nd overall, lists Terry Watson of Watson Sports Agency ‘€” based in Atlanta ‘€” as his agent. Worth noting: By way of comparison, last year’€™s 62nd overall selection (defensive tackle Sen’€™Derrick Marks out of Auburn) received a four-year deal worth $3.117 with $1.361M guaranteed.

Third-round pick Taylor Price: The wide receiver out of Ohio signed a four-year deal worth $3.35 million on May 25.
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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Deaderick, Brandon Spikes, Devin McCourty
Pats make it official with Price at 3:22 pm ET
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The Patriots officially announced the signing of third-round pick Taylor Price Tuesday afternoon. According to a league source, Price signed a four-year deal worth $3.35 million. A wide receiver out of Ohio who was taken with the 90th overall pick, he is the first third-round pick to sign a contract and the highest draft selection to sign with his team.

Here is part of the press release from the team on the move:

Price, 6-0, 212 pounds, started 38 of 52 games for Ohio and set a school record with 149 receptions. His 2,019 career receiving yards are the second best total in school history. As a senior in 2009, he caught 56 receptions for 784 yards with five touchdowns.

Price is the second of New England‘€™s 12 2010 draft choices to sign with the team, following the signing of sixth-round draft choice OL Ted Larsen on May 18.

Read More: Taylor Price, Ted Larsen,
Source: Pats, Price agree on four-year deal at 8:46 am ET
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According to a league source, the Patriots and third-round pick Taylor Price have agreed on a four-year deal worth $3.35 million. Price, a wide receiver out of Ohio, is a 6-foot, 204-pounder who was Ohio’€™s all-time leader in receptions with 149. In addition, his career totals in receiving yards (2,019) and touchdowns (14) rank second in the school’€™s history. He is the second draft pick to agree to a contract with New England ‘€” sixth-round pick Ted Larsen signed a four-year deal with the Patriots back on May 18.

Leaguewide, he is the highest draft pick yet to agree to a contract.

‘€œHe played in what I would say was not a good offensive system last year,’€ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Price, who was part of a run-first, pass-second offense while with the Bobcats. ‘€œHe certainly showed that he could have a variety of skills as a receiver.

‘€œHe’€™s a big kid, runs well. He shows the ability to play multiple positions ‘€” inside, outside, has the size to block, run after the catch, good hands. He’€™s an interesting player that didn’€™t have a lot of production certainly in part due to the offensive system he was in.’€

Price’s position coach in college ‘€” former Florida wide receivers’ coach Dennis Dixon ‘€” believes the Patriots have found themselves a keeper in Price.

‘€œHe has a good head on his shoulders and he knows what’€™s expected of him,’€ said Dixon, who also mentored Jabar Gaffney and Ike Hilliard in college. ‘€œHe wants to prove he can play at that level. I really believe its a great situation for him.’€

Read More: Taylor Price,
Examining the Patriots’ rookies and their representation 05.06.10 at 8:21 pm ET
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While it is still early ‘€” most rookie contracts aren’€™t completed until June or July ‘€” it’€™s never too early to familiarize yourself with some key participants so you can be ready when contract talks for the 12 Patriots rookies do begin. (For what it’€™s worth, last year, the first rookie deal completed was fourth-rounder Rich Ohrnberger, who signed on June 16. The last rookie deal done was sixth-round pick Jake Ingram, who agreed to a deal on July 29.)

Here’€™s a quick thumbnail sketch of the 12 Patriots’€™ draft picks and their representation, according to the latest information provided by the National Football League Players Association:

First-round pick Devin McCourty: Represented by PlayersRep and Andy Simms. Simms represented defensive lineman Ron Brace in his rookie negotiations with the Patriots last summer. If Brace’€™s contract was any indication, the cornerback out of Rutgers shouldn’€™t be a problem getting into camp on time: Brace signed on July 17 last summer, inking a four-year deal, with roughly $2.82 million in guarantees. In addition it’€™s worth mentioning that McCourty was asked at his introductory press conference about the importance of getting a deal done as fast as possible, and said it’€™s ‘€œvery urgent.’€

‘€œI’€™m not used to being a guy who’€™s not practicing or nothing,’€ McCourty said. ‘€œI told my agents I want to be able to play and get with a team and get going as soon as possible, the first day of training camp I want to be here playing.’€

Second-round pick Rob Gronkowski: The tight end out of Arizona is represented by Drew Rosenhaus of Rosenhaus Sports. Contrary to the opinion that many have of him, Rosenhaus has actually worked pretty closely with the Patriots over the years. Recent New England players who have been represented by Rosenhaus include Jabar Gaffney, Chris Hanson and Larry Izzo, as well as current Patriots running back Fred Taylor and cornerback Darius Butler.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Deaderick, Brandon Spikes, Devin McCourty
Price could be in mix for third receiver job 05.04.10 at 10:41 pm ET
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Dwayne Dixon has already tutored one of the most successful No. 3 receivers the Patriots have had in Jabar Gaffney. Now, he might have another candidate for the job.

Dixon, the former wide receivers coach at the University of Florida who mentored future NFL receivers like Gaffney and Ike Hilliard, served as the position coach at Ohio University for Taylor Price, who was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Patriots last month (90th overall).

The Patriots’€™ receiver position is in a state of flux ‘€” Randy Moss is entering the final year of his contract, veterans like David Patten and Torry Holt have been brought in, Wes Welker‘€™s health remains a question mark and youngsters like Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman remain a work in progress.

As a result, Price could have a shot at making an impact in New England‘€™s passing game sooner rather than later.

‘€œHe has a good head on his shoulders and he knows what’€™s expected of him,’€ Dixon said of the 6-foot, 212-pound Price, the only receiver taken in the draft by the Patriots. ‘€œHe wants to prove he can play at that level. I really believe its a great situation for him.’€

Working with Dixon ‘€” who was a wide receiver for Tampa Bay for three seasons before going into coaching ‘€” Price caught 149 passes for 2,019 yards and 14 touchdowns during his four-year career with the Bobcats, which featured a run-first, pass-second offense.

‘€œHe played in what I would say was not a good offensive system last year,’€ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ‘€œHe certainly showed that he could have a variety of skills as a receiver.

‘€œHe’€™s a big kid, runs well. He shows the ability to play multiple positions ‘€” inside, outside, has the size to block, run after the catch, good hands. He’€™s an interesting player that didn’€™t have a lot of production certainly in part due to the offensive system he was in.’€
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Read More: Bill Belichick, Brandon Tate, David Patten, Dwayne Dixon
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