The New England Patriots have signed two more members of their 2022 draft class. As was announced by the team heading into the weekend, cornerback Marcus Jones and running back Kevin Harris have both put their signature under their respective rookie contracts.
Jones, 23, joined the Patriots as the 85th overall selection in the third round. He started his college career at Troy before transferring to Houston after his sophomore season, starting 17 games for the Cougars over two years and establishing himself as a physical defensive back and dangerous kick returner.
While he is on the shorter side at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, Jones is an explosive athlete who offers a highly intriguing skillset. He is well-suited to take on a starter-level role as a slot cornerback at the next level, and start as a kickoff and punt returner right away. In 2021, he won the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in the country after seeing action in all three phases of the game.
Jones’ four-year contract consists of non-guaranteed salaries of $705,000 (2022), $940,316 (2023), $1.18 million (2024) and $1.41 million (2025) as well as an annual signing bonus proration of $236,264. With the NFL operating under the Top-51 rule during the offseason, only his signing bonus proration will hit the Patriots’ salary cap right away; his cap number for the 2022 season will eventually increase to $941,264.
Harris, 23, was drafted 183rd overall in the sixth round out of South Carolina. The SEC’s leader in rushing yards two years ago, the 6-foot-0, 221-pounder appeared in 28 games for the Gamecocks and carried the football a combined 358 times for 1,798 yards and 23 touchdowns.
While he also registered 35 catches for 274 and one score, Harris projects primarily as a between-the-tackles runner at the next level. He is not guaranteed a spot on New England’s roster given the depth ahead of him, but will be given an opportunity to prove himself as a physical between-the-tackles runner.
Harris’ contract looks similar to Jones’. It includes salaries of $705,000 (2022), $870,000 (2023), $985,000 (2024) and $1.1 million (2025). He will earn a fully-guaranteed $50,588 per year as a signing bonus proration. Harris’ contract does also not qualify for Top-51 status at the moment; if making the roster in September his cap hit will increase from $50,588 to $755,588.
The Patriots also announced signing sixth-round defensive lineman Sam Roberts. His deal was already reported last Wednesday, but it was apparently not processed until two days later.