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Wilfork inks with Pats

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  • Wilfork inks with Pats

    By Len Pasquarelli

    Striking early to ensure the on-time arrival in training camp of a potential rookie starter, the New England Patriots on Monday reached a contract agreement with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, the earlier of the team's two first-round draft choices.

    The 21st overall selection, Wilfork is just the second first-round player to reach contract terms, joining Houston Texans linebacker Jason Babin, the 27th player chosen. The former University of Miami star is the third of the Patriots' eight choices in the 2004 draft to strike an agreement.

    Still unsigned among New England's choices is fellow first-rounder Benjamin Watson, a tight end from the University of Georgia, and the final player taken in the opening stanza. Unlike most teams, which sign their later draft picks first, the Patriots have concentrated on the top of their bounty. With Wilfork and second-round defensive end Marquise Hill having agreements, the team now has deals with two of its top three picks.

    Wilfork, 22, will sign a six-year deal believed to be worth about $9 million-$9.5 million in "base" numbers, but which could eventually reach about $18 million if he cashes in on so-called "escalators" in the latter years of the contract. The signing bonus is $3 million but, counting a second-tier option bonus in 2005 and a roster bonus for this season, the bonuses total nearly $6 million.

    There are also guarantees on base salaries in some of the early years of the contract.

    A potentially dominating inside player, Wilfork is expected to compete with veteran Keith Traylor for the starting nose tackle spot in the New England 3-4 defensive front. There is little doubt the former Hurricanes star will log considerable playing time, even if he isn't the starter, as the Patriots like to rotate their linemen.

    Wilfork is another key as the Pats continue to infuse youth into their defensive line. New England has chosen defensive linemen in the first round in three of the last four drafts and now has one of the NFL's youngest, but also deepest units.

    Although he didn't become a full-time starter until 2003, Wilfork was a disruptive force at Miami, appearing in 36 games in three seasons, and starting 14 of them. He finished his career with 148 tackles, including 37 for losses, 14 sacks, 42 quarterback pressures, five forced fumbles and three recoveries.

    Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for

  • #2
    Re: Wilfork inks with Pats

    Now that you have the Rams' #1 bracketed by two signees, I would think a deal should happen sooner than later. I'd like to believe that Stephen is ready to play ball and not business and the Rams' FO have a couple of contracts to shape the market and not drag things out unnecessarily. Get in camp, in shape, and in form. Let's get that train ready to roll now ...


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      Patriots and G Logan Mankins agree to contract terms
      by Nick
      Mankins accepts 5-year, $6.4M contract
      Monday, July 25, 2005 news services

      The Patriots became the first team to sign a first-round pick by reaching a five-year, $6.4 million deal with guard Logan Mankins, the 32nd pick in the 2005 draft.

      Mankins reached agreement late Sunday night and signed the contract. Including a signing and option bonuses along with a $350,000 roster bonus this year, Mankins received $4 million in upfront guarantees.

      The key to the agreement was getting the Patriots not to force a six-year contract on him. Last year, the Patriots signed tight end Daniel Graham, their first-round choice in 2004, to a six-year contract. His agent at the time, Tom Condon, refused to sign a contract that long for a pick that low in the first round and resigned as Graham's agent.

      Graham didn't sign until Aug. 16, after an 18-day holdout. He played in the season opener, was inactive for the second game and was then placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

      Negotiations heated up Friday when Mankins' agent, Frank Bauer, worked with the team to resolve the length of the contract. For the Patriots, it was important to get Mankins into camp on time because he is expected to be a starter as a rookie.

      The 307-pound Mankins played at Fresno State, where he blocked for quarterback David Carr, now with the Houston Texans. Mankins, who started 40 games in four college seasons, did not allowing a sack in his final college season.

      The Patriots rookies reported Sunday night. Mankins was in Foxboro and ready to sign the contract once it was completed.

      His signing brings all seven of the team's 2005 draft choices under contract as the Super Bowl champions prepare for their first full-squad workout of training camp on Friday.

      On Sunday, the Patriots signed undrafted rookie wide receiver Brandon "Bam" Childress and released rookie running back Earl Charles and first-year defensive tackle Demarco McNeil.
      -07-25-2005, 03:40 PM
    • Nick
      Watson opts to let agent go amid stalled talks on deal
      by Nick
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      Watson opts to let agent go amid stalled talks on deal
      By Michael Smith, Globe Staff | August 14, 2004

      FOXBOROUGH -- Asked if he was being interrupted when reached at his home in Rock Hill, S.C., late Thursday night, Benjamin Watson answered no. The Patriots' rookie tight end said he was just thinking. Apparently, his thoughts brought him to the conclusion that it was time for his holdout to end.

      The standoff between the Super Bowl champions and agent Tom Condon over the length of Watson's first contract ended yesterday with the first-round draft choice ending his professional relationship with Condon.

      The Patriots would not move from their insistence on a six-year deal, and Condon refused to negotiate anything longer than a five-year pact. Since neither side would give, Watson did, giving the responsibility for his representation to Atlanta-based Pat Dye.

      With Dye, who negotiated a five-year deal for fifth-round pick P.K. Sam, now on the case, Watson is expected to sign for six years and report to training camp by the end of next week.

      Watson, a finance major at Georgia, has gotten a hard lesson in the business of pro football. Time is money, and his holdout has cost him both. Because he's missed the first 16 days of camp, the bonus money included in the Patriots' proposal has been reduced from roughly $3.8 million to around $3.3 million.

      "If you're a football player, this time of year, that's what you're supposed to be doing," said Watson, who had plans to watch last night's exhibition opener against the Eagles. "That's what you want, to be playing in your first game. Mine has just been delayed. I'll still have a first game, just not [last night]."

      Told there were indications that a deal would be consummated sometime next week, Watson said, "Things are definitely looking better right now. It looks like it's going to be sooner rather than later. I'd say that's definitely a possibility."

      What was not, Watson said, was his sitting out the entire season and reentering the draft next year. "I don't think that would have helped me," he said.

      Condon, who said the sides were never close to an agreement, did not believe it to be in Watson's best interest to sign for longer than five years. Though first-round picks Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, and Vince Wilfork each signed with the Patriots for six, the Condon camp kept pointing to fellow tight end Daniel Graham's five-year deal and claiming a double standard, though Graham was not asked to sign for six years. In Watson's case, the 23-year-old would enter unrestricted free agency at 30.

      Also, Condon may have been reluctant to agree to New England's terms for fear that rival agents would use it against him in client recruiting.

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      -08-14-2004, 12:24 PM
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      Revis, 29 in July, finished his lone season in Tampa with 50 tackles, two picks, and two forced fumbles across 16 starts, making a successful recovery from his 2012 ACL tear. Despite being used improperly by since-fired Greg Schiano in zone coverage, Revis remained the top corner in the NFL. He will slide into Aqib Talib's old shadow corner role and provide an upgrade, eliminating opposing top wideouts. It's a perfect match of player and scheme. The Patriots beat out the Jets and Browns for Revis' services. In particular, look for RE Chandler Jones to benefit from Revis' lockdown back-end coverage with a breakout season.

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    • Nick
      PATRIOTS - DE Seymour begins camp holdout
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      Friday, July 29, 2005
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      FOXBORO, Mass. -- Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Richard Seymour was not on the field for the opening practice of New England's training camp on Friday, starting what could be a lengthy holdout.

      Seymour's absence would further erode the core of the Patriots' defense. A day earlier, veteran linebacker Ted Johnson unexpectedly announced his retirement. And last week, Tedy Bruschi said he would sit out the entire 2005 season while he recovers from a mild stroke, leaving New England without either of its starting inside linebackers from last year's championship team.

      Seymour, who wants to re-negotiate a contract that has two years remaining, also did not report to the team's June mini-camp.

      Drafted sixth overall in 2001 by the Patriots out of Georgia, he was named to the Pro Bowl in two of his first three seasons. He missed the last game of the regular season and the AFC playoffs last year with a knee injury, but returned for the Super Bowl, logging two tackles, including a sack of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb.

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      It is called lagniappe, an old Cajun word that roughly translates into "a little bit extra," and a term with which Carolina Panthers quarterback and dyed-in-the-gumbo Louisiana native Jake Delhomme was familiar, long before he agreed Thursday morning to his pricey new five-year contract extension.

      Rewarding their emerging star with a contract that reportedly could be worth as much as $38 million, a deal criticized in some NFL precincts because there remains a core group of skeptics anxious to see if Delhomme was just a one-year wonder, certainly represented a heaping helping of lagniappe ladled out by Panthers management. No matter where one sides in the debate, though, the contract inarguably was aimed at providing security for both parties to the extension.

      Good news, Carolina management hopes, for a franchise now suddenly resurrected and seeking to sustain newfound success and to create stability. And absolutely great news for an itinerant quarterback whose league resume included just two regular-season starts before 2003.

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      Because players like Couch have recently been forced into a kind of wait-until-next-year mindset, one in which they sign short-term deals in the hopes of finding a far more appealing employment market next March, when they will be free agents and perhaps have a chance to pursue a starting job. And contracts like the one Delhomme signed, in the big picture, mean there aren't going to be as many vacant starting spots in the NFL as some observers suggest there might be.

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