Christopher Price attempts to figure out when the rest of the Pats' rookies will sign.
On the surface, the fact that the Patriots have less than half their picks done with training camp a month away might be cause for concern. But when stacked up against the rest of the league — and when you consider the circumstances that surround the players that are unsigned — Brian McIntyre of "Mac’s Football Blog" says the Patriots are pretty much in line with the rest of the league.
"With the exception of a handful of teams who appear to be waiting until after the Fourth of July to get going, rookie signings league-wide are ahead of schedule," he wrote in an e-mail to WEEI.com on Tuesday evening. "Ninety (of 256) players had signed contracts by June 29, 2009. As of today, 115 of 255 have already signed. New England is no exception."
When it comes to the Patriots, McIntyre notes that a year ago, the Patriots only had one of their 12 picks, fourth-round guard Rich Ohrnberger, signed to a contract by June 29. This summer, they’ve already got five of 12 signed, and three more should fall in short order.
"Three more (Brandon Deadrick, Kade Weston, and Zac Robinson) are clumped together so tightly (picks 40, 41, and 43) in the seventh-round that their deals shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to finalize. Once those three sign, they’ll be able to focus on [first-rounder] Devin McCourty and the three second-round picks."
McIntyre also believes that when it comes to getting New England’s second-rounders signed, they will be helped by the fact that Drew Rosenhaus — who McIntyre describes as a "proactive" agent — reps one of their three second-round picks, tight end Rob Gronkowski.
"Like most first-rounders, McCourty should be signed a day or two before, or directly on the reporting date for training camp," he said. "No rush right now from either side, who’ll be waiting for as many dominoes to fall before hammering out a deal."
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