What Will Dalton Keene's Rookie Contract Look Like?


When the New England Patriots selected former Virginia Tech tight end Dalton Keene with the 101st overall pick on Friday night, everyone watching the draft at home knew that Keene's financial situation was likely changed forever.

In many cases, when a college player goes pro in football and realizes their dream of making it to the NFL, the income is nearly unfathomable to the average American.

And while it took Keene almost three full rounds to hear his name called, the rookie contract that he will be signing in short order will make him very rich.

According to OverTheCap.com, Keene's rookie contract will pay him in the neighborhood of $4.5 million, with a signing bonus north of $832,000, which is quite the pay day for the former Virginia Tech tight end.

Several wondered whether or not Keene was making the right decision for his future by forgoing his final season of eligibility and entering the NFL Draft, but after going several rounds earlier than most expected, to a team that utilizes tight ends as well as almost any in the league, few are questioning his decision now.

Keene was a Swiss Army Knife for the Hokies' offense during his time in Blacksburg, serving as one of the team's best blockers, while emerging as a significant threat in the passing game.

He finished his career in Blacksburg with 59 receptions for 748 yards and eight touchdowns, but may be in line for a more significant receiving role in the pros if he is able to adapt well to the Patriots' system.

While Patriots' coach Bill Belichick believes it will be an adjustment for Keene, he thinks he will be able to handle it.

"When you watch Dalton, you don't see a lot of things we do, but that happens with a lot of players," Belichick told local Patriots media on Saturday. Belichick later alluded to the fact that Keene would need to adjust to the offensive scheme but that, "he's a smart kid and should be able to handle it."

It'll be interesting to see how Keene progresses in the early part of his career, but Bill Belichick and the Patriots certainly have a plan for him, as evidenced by trading three picks to move up and draft him on Friday night.