Patriots agree to four-year, $2.148 million deal with seventh-round WR Jeremy Ebert that includes a $48,200 bonus, per a source— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) May 16, 2012
Ebert's guaranteed money is a decent representative of how the team sees his prospects compared to other rookie free agent signings.
Mike Reiss over at ESPNBoston.com put together a list of signing bonuses and suggests the higher figures could mean a bidding war took place.
OL Jeremiah Warren (So. Florida)—$28,000 ($18,000 to sign, $10,000 of guaranteed salary)
RB Brandon Bolden (Mississippi)—$15,000
OL Markus Zusevics (Iowa)—$13,000
DL Marcus Forston (Miami)—$10,000
DE Justin Francis (Rutgers)—$10,000 ($7,000 to sign, $3,000 of guaranteed salary)
TE Brad Herman (Iowa)—$2,500
WR Matt Roark (Kentucky)—$2,500
The Patriots also agreed to terms with second-round safety prospect Tavon Wilson last week on a four-year, $4.217 million contract, as reported by Aaron Wilson. That deal includes a $1.507 million signing bonus, but the last two years aren't fully guaranteed.
New England knew exactly what kind of investment it was making when selecting Wilson in the second round. Last year's 48th overall selection, Stefen Wisniewski, signed a four-year, $4.135 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. The deal also included a $1.507 million signing bonus.
For comparisons sake, veteran Steve Gregory, was given a three-year pact worth $7.05 million. The deal contains $2.5 million guaranteed with another $1.45 million available through incentives.
A second-rounder in 2009, Pat Chung signed a four-year, $3.975 million contract which included a $2 million signing bonus and a first-year roster bonus of $75,000.
Bill Belichick's confidence, partnered with the team's need for stable safety play has me really intrigued about Wilson's potential.
Ebert, an interesting specimen at 5'10'' who possesses sub-4.4 speed, may have a shot to contribute in 2012 as well. With 173 career receptions, logic would suggest his opportunity would come as a wideout. However, the depth chart suggests otherwise.
I think he'll get a good hard look in the return game, much like Julian Edelman, he's shifty enough to do some real damage in the right lanes. It'd be a hard climb onto the 53-man active roster, however, and the presence of players like Edelman make the climb nearly impossible. Time will tell though.
Five rookies, Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner and Alfonzo Dennard, remain unsigned.
Check out more of Aaron Dodge's work.