Thursday was a busy day for the New England Patriots. Not only did their 2020 regular season schedule get released, the team also reached contracts with five members of their draft class: after the team already agreed to a deal with Josh Uche on Wednesday, it brought fellow linebackers Anfernee Jennings and Cassh Maluia, offensive linemen Justin Herron and Dustin Woodard, and kicker Justin Rohrwasser officially into the fold as well.
Apparently, Friday will be more of the same for the Patriots: as first reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on early Friday morning, the team has agreed to a four-year contract with rookie tight end Devin Asiasi. New England drafted the UCLA product in the third round last month, after trading up to the 91st overall selection to get him and bolster a tight end group that struggled mightily over the course of the 2019 season.
Asiasi, a de facto roster lock given his draft status, should help with that: A true all-around tight end that can function as both an in-line blocker and a flexed-out pass catcher, Asiasi has the tools to become a true TE1 in the Patriots’ offense and an immediate upgrade over the team’s current personnel at the position. Together with fellow tight end Dalton Keene, he should give the returning members of last year’s group — Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo — a serious run for their money (i.e. spots on the depth chart).
In accordance with the NFL’s rookie wage scale, which was introduced as part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, Asiasi has been signed to four-year contracts. Per Over The Cap, the deal will be worth a total of $4.58 million with a 2020 salary cap hit of $833,240. As opposed to other members of their rookie class, Asiasi will therefore count against the team’s books even with the top-51 offseason rule still in place.
With Asiasi now in the fold, only three rookies remain unaccounted for at the moment: second-round safety Kyle Dugger, third-round tight end Dalton Keene, and fifth-round guard Michael Onwenu. Given New England’s pace when it comes to signing their rookies this year, however, all three should be expected to be officially signed sooner rather than later.