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Patriots Daily: Ja’Lynn Polk Signs, Completes Draft Class

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New England #Patriots 90-Man Roster Spotlight: Veteran DE and Team Captain Deatrich Wise Jr. #NEPats https://patriotsfootballnow.com/2024/06/13/new-england-patriots-90-man-roster-spotlight-deatrich-wise-jr-team-captain/

NFL rookies holding out over a contract dispute are generally a thing of the past. With a rookie pay scale in place since 2011, there isn’t much for teams and agents to haggle over. There are certain things open for negotiations, such as how and when a signing bonus is paid out, even if the bonus amount is predetermined. The New England Patriots have not had a significant rookie holdout in 20 years.

Benjamin Watson missed the first several weeks of training camp in 2004. The first-round tight end from Georgia held out through the first preseason game. He fired his agent in the process. Watson signed his rookie deal on August 16. He landed on season-ending IR after playing just one game. Watson enjoyed a productive 16-year NFL career, though it did not begin under ideal circumstances.

Last year, the final rookie holdout was Seahawks defensive back Devon Witherspoon. He missed the first four days of training camp with Seattle before agreeing to terms. The player wanted his signing bonus up front, while the team wanted it spread out over multiple payments. It worked out in the end but caused an unnecessary and avoidable distraction.

Fortunately for the New England Patriots, there will be no such drama with their 2024 rookie class.

Ja’Lynn Polk Agrees to Rookie Contract

New England selected Ja’Lynn Polk in the second round (No. 37 overall) of the 2024 NFL Draft. He has been present for rookie minicamp, OTAs, and mandatory minicamp. But until yesterday, Polk had yet to sign. That is no longer the case.

Polk agreed to his rookie contract yesterday. The four-year deal is worth $9.694 million. This includes a $3.694 million signing bonus. He was the last New England Patriots draft pick to come to terms. Eight first-round draft picks remain unsigned, though Patriots QB Drake Maye is not one of them.

Christian Gonzalez, New England’s top selection in 2023, did not sign until July 21 last year. Eliot Wolf and his staff have the Patriots in great shape by getting everyone locked up early this year. It does not guarantee success, but it does help avoid unnecessary and avoidable distrations.

Also in today’s Patriots Daily:

Daily Patriots Fun Fact

Ja’Lynn Polk would love to set the NFL rookie records for a wide receiver in 2024. Puka Nacua of the Los Angeles Rams broke the NFL rookie records for receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486) in 2023. Randy Moss of the Minnesota Vikings set the record for receiving touchdowns by a rookie in 1998 with 17.

The New England Patriots rookie record for receptions (90) and receiving yards (1,132) were both achieved by Terry Glenn in 1996. Tight end Rob Gronkowski recorded the most touchdown receptions for a Patriots rookie (10 in 2010). Randy Vataha (nine in 1971) holds the team’s record for rookie wide receivers.

Post of the Day

A behind-the-scenes look at many of the great New England Patriots players who helped make the dynasty what it was in New England, courtesy of The Camera Guys. Side note: Vince Wilfork looks great!

New England Patriots

Patriots Football Now – Defensive end appeared to be a position lacking depth heading into the offseason for the New England Patriots. Veteran Deatrich Wise Jr. and 2023 rookie Keion White were the only players seemingly locked into roster spots. But the Patriots did not add in free agency or the draft. Is it indicative of their scheme plans or the belief in what they have? A look at one key player in the group, team captain Deatrich Wise Jr.

NFL News

NFL.com – Quarterbacks getting paid big money is nothing new in the National Football League. The top 16 paid players in the NFL for 2024 all play quarterback. After yesterday there is a new name atop the salary charts. Jacksonville drafted Trevor Lawrence No. 1 in the 2021 NFL Draft hoping he’d become a franchise QB. They’ve now agreed to pay him like one. The Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence agreed to a five-year $275 million contract.

CBS Sports – Some poor performances can be attributed to injury. Others are due to a poor system or supporting cast. Some veteran players have an uncharacteristically poor season without much explanation at all. CBS Sports looks at four NFL comeback candidates.

Boston Bruins

Boston Hockey Now – Jim Montgomery will stay put as the Boston Bruins head coach, no news there. But there were some secondary moves on the coaching staff worth noting. An old friend returns from out west to rejoin Boston’s staff and a longtime assistant receives a promotion. BHN has it all covered: Bruins fill coaching vacancy, shuffle Montgomery’s staff.

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Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

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