The Patriots have signed all but two of their draft picks so far in this young offseason. The signings include RB James White, OT Cameron Fleming, DE Zach Moore and WR Jeremy Gallon, etc. The funny part of those Patriots signings is they were all drafted fourth round or later, mostly because first and second round deals cost more and generally take more time to hash out.
The Patriots took White in the fourth round with the 130th overall pick surprising some, but I thought they actually needed a running back. The state of the running back position after this season is up in the air as Ridley, Vereen and Bolden will all be free agents following the season. White is some insurance in case the Patriots lose one or all of those guys.
White signed a 4-year deal worth just over $2.61 million with $397,088 guaranteed. White is a smaller player standing at 5’9 and just over 200 pounds, but he’s using that as motivation: “As most small guys, you use it as a chip on your shoulder,” White said. “You let it push you every single day.”
Offensive tackle Cameron Fleming was also picked in the fourth round 140th overall. The Patriots also needed a little depth at offensive line as Wendell is a free agent and so is Will Svitek and some feel they may not be back. Fleming was given a 4-year $2.5 million deal with about $300,584 guaranteed.
Defensive end Zach Moore was taken in the sixth round 198th overall. Moore was handed a 4 year deal for $2.32 million with $102,200 guaranteed. The Patriots are putting some stock in this position this offseason having signed free agent Will Smith and selecting Dominique Easley in the first round and picking up Moore later on in the sixth.
The Patriots signed Jeremy Gallon to a 4-year deal worth $2.26 million. Just $47,592 of his salary is guaranteed, but it is interesting that he’s a slot receiver and he is being given a chance on a team that is set at the position. The coaching staff must like what they see and the slot receiver has always been Brady’s favorite target anyways.
Also as far as draft picks go, the Patriots signed two additional offensive linemen picks Bryan Stork (4th rounder) and Jon Halapio (6th rounder). They also signed their 6th round pick defensive back Jemea Thomas.