From the NFL Newswire at 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots made Mike Pennel one of their first signings as NFL free agency began last week. More details have dropped on the contract for the ex-Jets defensive tackle.
Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal first reported that Pennel's deal is for two years. ESPN's Mike Reiss reported more figures on Tuesday. Pennel gets a base value of $5 million, with the chance to earn up to $8 million through playing time-based incentives.
Pennel is more than just a lottery ticket. He projects to park next to Lawrence Guy as a starting DT in base defenses. The ex-Jet excels against the run. He should stuff it more consistently than former four-year starter Malcom Brown did.
More receiver numbers
Reiss also reported the full details for wide receiver Maurice Harris, who joined the Patriots last week after three seasons with the Redskins.
Harris signed for one year and a $1 million max value. Only $90,000 of it is guaranteed through a signing bonus. He also gets a $40,000 workout bonus and $150,000 in per-game roster bonuses - $9,375 per game if he's active. Left over is a $720,000 base salary. Reiss noted that the Patriots also protected themselves with a $448,000 "injury split" in case Harris ends up on IR.
Harris got slightly more money than receiver Bruce Ellington. It indicates that he has a slightly better chance to make the 53-man roster. Ellington's injury history and minimal $25,000 signing bonus make him far from a lock to last beyond Sept. 1.
But both Ellington and Harris do have experience lining up in the slot. Harris brings more size to complement Ellington's quickness. Either one could return exceptional value if they stay healthy and mesh with Tom Brady.
Special teams lock
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe first reported the details for safety Terrence Brooks on Tuesday.
The ex-Jet jumps to the Pats with a two-year pact that carries a $4 million max value. He gets $1.305 million fully guaranteed in salary and bonuses. Earnings can reach at least $1.4 million and max out at $2 million through incentives with no guarantees beyond that.
Over $1 million guaranteed projects Brooks as a lock to make the team as a special teamer. He led the Jets last season with 392 special teams snaps, compared to just 69 on defense. He could create a legitimate competition for roster spots with ST holdovers like Nate Ebner, Brandon King, and Obi Melifonwu. But the Pats also need to find replacements for Albert McClellan and Ramon Humber, who became special teams regulars after coming over mid-season.
The potential varies for all of the Patriots' new additions, but they all lack risk. And all three have opportunities in front of them to improve the team in key areas.
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