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Closer look at rookie free-agent deals

5/6/2013

The collective bargaining agreement dictates that all contracts signed by rookie free-agents are three years in length with a minimum value of $1.44 million over the life of the contract. But not all rookie free agent contracts are exactly the same, as teams can guarantee differing amounts of money to each player upon signing them.

That was the case for the Patriots latest pool of undrafted free-agents, and the following is a break down of how much each player received in guaranteed money, which comes in the form of either a signing bonus of a partially guaranteed base salary.

Wide receiver T.J. Moe

Signing bonus: $8,000

Base salary guarantee: $22,000

Total guarantee: $30,000

Tight end Zach Sudfeld

Signing bonus: $12,000

Base salary guarantee: $5,000

Total guarantee: $17,000

Offensive lineman Elvis Fisher

Signing bonus: $7,500

Base salary guarantee: $7,500

Total guarantee: $15,000

Offensive lineman Josh Kline

Signing bonus: $4,000

Base salary guarantee: $10,000

Total guarantee: $14,000

Fullback Ben Bartholomew

Signing Bonus: $10,000

Base salary guarantee: 0

Total guarantee: $10,000

Safety Kanorris Davis

Signing bonus: $5,000

Base salary guarantee: $5,000

Total guarantee: $10,000

Defensive lineman Cory Grissom

Signing bonus: $4,000

Base salary guarantee: $4,000

Total guarantee: $8,000

Offensive lineman Chris McDonald

Signing bonus: $5,000

Base salary guarantee: 0

Total guarantee: $5,000

Offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch

Signing bonus: $2,500

Base salary guarantee: $2,500

Total guarantee: $5,000

Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins

Signing bonus: $2,500

Base salary guarantee: $2,500

Total guarantee: $5,000

Punter Ryan Allen

Signing bonus: $1,500

Base salary guarantee: $2,500

Total guarantee: $4,000

Cornerback Brandon Jones

Signing bonus: $3,500

Base salary guarantee: 0

Total guarantee: $3,500

Tight end Brandon Ford

Signing bonus: $3,000

Base salary guarantee: 0

Total guarantee: $3,000

Cornerback Stephon Morris

Signing bonus: $2,500

Base salary guarantee: 0

Total guarantee: $2,500

Long snapper Mike Zupanic

Signing bonus: $2,000

Base salary guarantee: 0

Total guarantee: $2,000

Defensive lineman Dewayne Cherrington

Signing bonus: $1,000

Base salary guarantee: $1,000

Total guarantee: $2,000

Running back Quentin Hines

Signing bonus: $1,000

Base salary guarantee: 0

Total guarantee: $1,000

Note: Linebacker Ian Sluss and defensive lineman Joe Vellano signed deals with no guaranteed money.

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: As the final round of the draft winds down, teams begin preparation to sign undrafted free agents and engage in negotiations with those players' respective agents. In the case of some undrafted players, several teams are courting them, which often leads to higher guaranteed totals. That T.J. Moe received the largest guarantee among all of the Patriots undrafted free agents is likely due to the fact that the Patriots believed he was among the better players not taken in the draft and/or they were competing against other teams to sign him. While there's no guarantee that any of these players will make the final roster, it's interesting to note their contract guarantees, which offers us a little bit of a feel for how the team valued them upon signing. One other note on the undrafted free agent pool is that, due to the size of the class, the Patriots guaranteed $137,000 to the 19 players. That's up from just $81,000 that was given to the seven undrafted free agents signed following the draft last year, although that total ballooned when Jeff Demps was signed in training camp and earned $211,000 in guarantees.