The New England Patriots have been able to get another member of their 2021 draft class under contract on Thursday: sixth-round safety Joshuah Bledsoe has signed a standard four-year pact with the team.
Bledsoe joined the Patriots as the 188th overall selection in this year’s draft after a four-year career at the University of Missouri. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound defensive back appeared in 46 games during his time as a Tiger — including the final 22 as a starter — and registered an interception, a sack and 19 combined pass breakups.
In the NFL Draft earlier this month, Bledsoe was the fifth Missouri player picked and 16th safety to come off the board. When his name was called, he joined a safety group consisting of veterans Devin McCourty and Adrian Phillips as well as former second-round selection Kyle Dugger.
Given his draft status, Bledsoe is not guaranteed to join them on the roster. However, he feels confident in his abilities to help the team.
“I’m a real exciting player to watch,” he said during a post-draft conference call with the New England media. “When you see me on the field, I’m doing everything whether it’s special teams or doing what I can on defense. I’m out there making plays and it’s going to be fun to watch. My brand of football is just fun to watch, it’s exciting to watch.”
Bledsoe is now the third member of New England’s eight-player draft class to contractually be brought into the fold. The team already signed offensive tackle William Sherman and wide receiver Tre Nixon to their rookie deals earlier this week. Quarterback Mac Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmore, edge defender Ronnie Perkins, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, and linebacker Christian McGrone remain unaccounted for at the moment.
With Bledsoe having agreed to his four-year rookie pact that includes a $200,348 signing bonus, the Patriots’ salary cap space has shrunk to $15.33 million, per Miguel Benzan.