Before the new NFL league year and free agency officially started, the New England Patriots have placed tenders on their restricted and exclusive rights free agents. Two of the five players to receive the tender - the sixth, tight end Michael Williams, was later re-signed - were cornerbacks: Malcolm Butler and Justin Coleman.
Butler is currenty fighting to get a long-term deal instead of playing on a one-year contract that would pay him a non-guaranteed $3.91 million. Coleman, on the other hand, appears to be fine with playing on a salary of $615,000. As first reported by ESPN's Field Yates and later confirmed by the NFL transaction wire, the 23-year old has signed his offer sheet:
Source: Patriots CB Justin Coleman has signed his exclusive rights tender. Officially back in the fold for 2017.
Coleman, who has two accrued seasons in the NFL and thus been assigned the highest of the three possible exclusive rights tenders, originally entered the league as an undrafted rookie with the Minnesota Vikings in 2015. After quick stints in New England and Seattle, he returned to Foxboro.
The Tennessee product would go on to appear in 22 games over the next two seasons. But while he was a rotational option his rookie season, he was mostly relegated to day-time inactive in year two. Still, the Patriots apparently think highly enough of him to bring him back for at least another offseason.