In only two days, the 2017 free agency will start and until then, the New England Patriots have the chance to avoid their free agents from hitting the open market. The first one, fullback James Develin, was re-signed yesterday and today news broke that New England has locked up two more players for the upcoming season.
Patriots have informed restricted free-agent OT Cameron Fleming he will be tendered at the original-round level ($1.797m).
The Patriots tendered TE Matt Lengel Tuesday, per source. Exclusive rights free agent will be back in New England.
Patriots have also tendered CB Justin Coleman, per source. Another exclusive rights free agent.
Fleming played well as the Patriots swing tackle in 2016, making spot starts for Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon. The 2014 4th round pick spent time on the practice squad in 2015, which is why he’s a restricted free agent.
After starting his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, who signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2015, Lengel was signed by the Patriots off the team’s practice squad in early November. After Rob Gronkowski was placed on injured reserve a month later, the 26-year old became the number two tight end option behind Martellus Bennett. As such, Lengel appeared in nine games, catching two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Coleman’s season was a bit less productive. While he did appear in 10 games in 2016, his contributions diminished after week 10. Overall, he played a mere four snaps on defense and 24 on special teams after week 10 and was inactive for all three of the Patriots’ playoff games.
Still, given that the Patriots will see tight end Bennett and cornerback Logan Ryan heading to free agency in two days, re-signing the trio as insurance policy of sorts makes sense.