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Patriots show serious interest in two undrafted players with nice signing bonuses

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The Patriots have handed over some big money to a pair of undrafted free agents to show their interest.

The New England Patriots have done a great job of showing commitment and interest to a pair of undrafted rookies. Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones and Arizona State running back D.J. Foster both received really nice signing bonuses and guaranteed money to join the Patriots, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

It should be noted that this sort of money does not guarantee a roster spot, but does imply far more than just a passing camp interest.

Late 7th round picks receive guaranteed money in the range of $50,000, per salary cap website Spotrac. 2015 247th overall pick CB Darryl Roberts received $54,223, and 2015 253rd overall pick LB Xzavier Dickson picked up $52,783. 2014 244th overall pick WR Jeremy Gallon signed for $47,592, which happens to be the exact same as 2013 235th overall pick LB Steve Beauharnais.

In general, the Patriots give their lower tier undrafted free agents less guaranteed money. In 2014, only three of the team's original nine undrafted free agents signed for more than $20,000 guaranteed, and only one saw more than $25,000.

Of the undrafted rookies in to impact the Patriots last season, wide receiver Chris Harper led the class with $20,000 guaranteed, and center David Andrews receive $15,000. Special teamer Brandon King only received $3,000. Converted Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner didn't make the team, but he received $15,000 guaranteed, while cornerback Jimmy Jean received $10,000 an defensive tackle Vince Taylor received a mere $2,500.

The rising salary cap will naturally grow the amount of money available for undrafted rookies. Reiss has the guaranteed money for the rest of the 2016 undrafted class here. Vanderbilt tight end Steven Scheu received $25,000 guaranteed, which is the 4th most over the past three seasons. Ole Miss linebacker C.J. Johnson earned a nice $20,000 guaranteed, too.

But it's clear that Jones and Foster are the most well regarded. Foster even acknowledged that the money was part of his decision to come to the Patriots, since New England offered him the most money.

These will be two players to watch out for during camp.

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Below is a table of the guaranteed money the Patriots have given to undrafted free agent rookies over the past five seasons. Sources include Spotrac for 2015 data and ESPN for 201220132014, and 2016.

Class Player Guaranteed
2014 LB Cameron Gordon $35,000
2016 CB Jonathan Jones $35,000
2013 WR T.J. Moe $30,000
2016 RB D.J. Foster $30,000
2012 OL Jeremiah Warren $28,000
2016 TE Steven Scheu $25,000
2014 RB Stephen Houston $22,500
2014 TE Asa Watson $20,000
2015 WR Chris Harper $20,000
2016 LB C.J. Johnson $20,000
2016 CB V'Angelo Bentley $17,500
2016 CB Cre'Von LeBlanc $17,500
2013 TE Zach Sudfeld $17,000
2012 RB Brandon Bolden $15,000
2013 OL Elvis Fisher $15,000
2014 TE Justin Jones $15,000
2015 C David Andrews $15,000
2015 WR Devin Gardner $15,000
2013 OL Josh Kline $14,000
2012 OT Markus Zusevics $13,000
2012 DT Marcus Forston $10,000
2012 ED Justin Francis $10,000
2013 FB Ben Bartholomew $10,000
2013 S Kanorris Davis $10,000
2014 RB Roy Finch $10,000
2014 S Shamiel Gary $10,000
2014 CB Travis Hawkins $10,000
2015 CB Jimmy Jean $10,000
2013 DL Cory Grissom $8,000
2016 DL Woodrow Hamilton $7,500
2013 OL Chris McDonald $5,000
2013 OL Matt Stankiewitch $5,000
2013 WR Kenbrell Thompkins $5,000
2013 P Ryan Allen $5,000
2014 LB Deontae Skinner $5,000
2013 CB Brandon Jones $3,500
2013 TE Brandon Ford $3,000
2015 S Brandon King $3,000
2012 TE Brad Herman $2,500
2012 WR Matt Roark $2,500
2013 CB Stephon Morris $2,500
2015 DT Vince Taylor $2,500
2016 TE Bryce Williams $2,500
2013 LS Mike Zupanic $2,000
2013 DL Dewayne Cherrington $2,000
2014 TE Tyler Beck $1,500
2013 RB Quentin Hines $1,000
2012 OL Jon Opperud $0
2013 LB Ian Sluss $0
2013 DL Joe Vellano $0
2015 CB Eric Patterson $0