Patriots Talk: Latest Signings, Tenders and Releases
by Stephen Hilton
Today begins the NFL’s ‘legal tempering’ which will set the stage for the next two days once free agency begins, March 9th. As of today, March 7th, the Patriots have been getting ready for the inevitable.
Last week, we received several important updates on the status of the Patriots roster. We got confirmation that Patriots’ long-time veteran [Tackle] Sebastien Vollmer was released alongside [Defensive End] Chris Long. Since then, the Patriots have been busy with getting their players resigned.
Patriots [Fullback] James Develin was resigned recently to a two-year extension worth 1.4 million a season, which was perfect timing because apparently Pro-bowl Fullback for the Baltimore Ravens, Kyle Juszczyk, wanted ‘alittle bit north of two million a year.’
The two sides were significantly apart as of the weekend. Top fullback money is a little north of $2 million per year. However, Juszczyk’s agent will surely ask for far more than that given Juszczyk’s many roles. We’ll know soon if the Ravens view Juszczyk as a luxury more than a necessity.
To add all of this so far, the Patriots have released two unrestricted free agents, they have resigned one unrestricted free agent, one restricted free agent, and two exclusive rights free agents thus far coming into the week. In addition, it would seem the Patriots have they’re work cut out for them as Martellus Bennett has just informed New England reporter, Mike Garafolo the following:
Seems that the now former Patriots’ TE will be entering free agency looking for a big pay day since nine million a season is way too much for the Patriots price range. With this news, the Patriots will more than likely look for a TE in this year’s NFL draft. However, if Martellus does in fact sign for over nine million or more, then the Patriots will receive a 3rd Round compensatory pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
The biggest news shockingly was the speculation around Dont’a Hightower‘s contract deal that he MIGHT receive once he hits the open market. According, Joel Curry, former sports agent and founder of Premier Sports, he believes that what Hightower will get on open market will be quite substantial. These figures that are currently being looked at are:
- Contract Package: 67.5 million / 5 years
- Overall guarantees: $35 million ($5 million injury only)
- Fully guaranteed at signing: $30 million
- First three years: $42 million
That is a massive pay check for Hightower as that would be around 13.5 million a season. I originally speculated that guaranteed money was the issue and according to what has been talked about, that $35 million would do the job. The chances that Hightower gets that kind of money is still up for speculation as the Patriots do have the money but the chances of them meeting it is a whole other story.