The New England Patriots entered the week with all but three members of their 10-player draft class signed to their respective rookie deals. It appears that number is now down to one.
After first-round guard Cole Strange reportedly signed his contract with the Patriots on Wednesday, second-round wide receiver Tyquan Thornton has now apparently put pen to paper as well. He shared a photo on social media on Thursday that shows him in the process of signing what appears to be his rookie deal.
As can be seen in the photo, Thornton is putting his signature under a document titled “NFL Player Contract.” The Patriots have not made an announcement of the signing yet, though, and it remains to be seen how quickly the move will be processed.
After all, New England will need to create additional salary cap space before being able to sign any of their three as-of-yet-unaccounted-for rookies. In order to fit Thornton, Strange — whose signing was also not yet made official — and fourth-round quarterback Bailey Zappe under their cap, they need roughly $1.88 million in available resources.
At the moment, however, the team is only $142,280 under the NFL’s spending limit (per Miguel Benzan). Even accounting for the league’s Top-51 rule in place during the offseason, Thornton’s contract would take up $457,520. For comparison, Strange and Zappe would cost $1.26 million and $161,768, respectively.
Thornton, 21, was drafted 50th overall by the Patriots earlier this year. The 10th wide receiver to come off the board, the Baylor product adds intriguing speed to the New England offense: he was the fastest offensive player at the Scouting Combine and will give the team a legitimate field-stretcher.