The New England Patriots have signed the first member of their 2022 NFL Draft class to his rookie contract. As first reported by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, sixth-round selection Sam Roberts has agreed to a four-year deal with a total value of $3.83 million.
Roberts, 24, arrived in New England after a six-year career at Northwest Missouri State. He appeared in a total of 50 games as a Bearcat, registering 184 tackles as well as 18.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. He also blocked five kicks along the way.
As a super senior in 2021, Roberts was named MIAA Defensive Player of the Year. He furthermore earned the Cliff Harris Award, given annually to the best non-Division I defender.
His accomplishments were enough to convince the Patriots to select a late-round selection in Roberts, bringing him aboard with the 200th overall pick. Now, he has become the first of New England’s 10 drafted players to sign his rookie deal.
The four-year contract itself is pretty straight forward. It consists of non-guaranteed salaries of $705,000 (2022), $870,000 (2023), $985,000 (2024) and $1.1 million (2025) as well as an annual signing bonus proration of $42,869. With the NFL operating under the Top-51 rule during the offseason and with Roberts’ deal not qualifying, only his signing bonus proration will hit the Patriots’ salary cap right away.
The $705,000 salary will only hit the team’s books if Roberts makes the 53-man roster come the regular season and the end of Top-51. Based on his draft status and New England’s deep defensive line, however, he appears to face an uphill climb to actually make it that far.