The Patriots got the final member of their 2016 draft class under contract Thursday morning, signing quarterback Jacoby Brissett to a four-year deal worth $3,410,832, according to league sources.
Brissett has been participating with the Patriots during offseason practices over the seven weeks since being drafted in the third round, but he is the last of the nine players they selected to sign his contract, by several weeks.
The reason: Brissett plays a premium position, and third-round picks are the only ones with flexibility to negotiate for larger base salaries and workout bonuses.
Of the 29 third-round picks who have signed so far, Brissett and another quarterback, Cleveland’s Cody Kessler (taken two picks after Brissett), are the only ones to get the maximum value of their contract. Every other third-round pick is between 90-95 percent. Brissett’s total value of more than $3.4 million is higher than 17 players drafted ahead of him.
Brissett is the only one of 253 NFL draft picks not to have an agent. Instead, he relied on contract experts from the NFL Players Association and former NFL safety Abram Elam for guidance in negotiating his deal.
Some of Brissett’s contract was spelled out by his draft slot: a signing bonus of $680,804 and a rookie base salary of $450,000. But he received above-slot base salaries in 2017-19, plus $25,000 workout bonuses in each of those years, earning him an extra $390,000 above the minimum over the course of the four-year deal.
Brissett was the Patriots’ third pick, behind Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones and North Carolina State offensive lineman Joe Thuney, who was Brissett’s college teammate. Should Tom Brady begin the 2016 season with a four-game suspension, Brissett will be the Patriots’ backup behind third-year veteran Jimmy Garoppolo.