By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
With their 2020 season now officially in the books, the Patriots can do what many fans did months ago, and turn their attention to the 2021 offseason. That process began on Monday, when the team signed 10 players to future contracts.
In the NFL, a future contract is a way for teams to retain the rights to players from their practice squad or free agents between seasons. They’re like normal contracts, except they don’t kick in until the new league year begins. They’re commonly used to secure practice squad players into the following season, since teams can’t technically expand their rosters beyond 53 players until March.
Of the 10 players the Patriots signed to future contracts on Monday, all were on the practice squad when the season came to an end this week.
The standouts among the group are a pair of kickers, Justin Rohrwasser and Roberto Aguayo. Rohrwasser was a fifth-round pick by the Patriots back in April, and lost the starting kicking job to Nick Folk in training camp. Aguayo is a former highly-touted prospect and second-round pick who hasn’t played a game in the NFL since his rookie year in 2016, and was signed by the team last week. Both could be in line to compete for the starting kicking job with the Patriots next summer, with 2020 kicker Nick Folk a pending free agent.
Also included in the list is wide receiver Isaiah Zuber. The rookie UDFA was promoted from the practice squad four times in 2020, and showed an impressive combination of speed and agility.
On the defensive side of the ball, tackle Nick Thurman also received a future contract. He was promoted seven times during the season, his second on the Patriots’ practice squad. Cornerback D’Angelo Ross, another promising young defensive player, received a contract as well.
The remaining players signed to future contracts are quarterback Jake Dolegala, wide receivers Kristian Wilkerson and Devin Smith, offensive linemen Ross Reynolds, and defensive tackle Bill Murray.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.