Closer look at rookie free-agent deals

May, 6, 2013
5/06/13
11:55
AM ET
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.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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