The first member of the New England Patriots 2022 NFL Draft class has signed his rookie deal.
Sam Roberts at the Hula Bowl
Sam Roberts holding the defensive line
According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, defensive tackle Sam Roberts, New England’s 200th overall selection in the sixth-round, has agreed to a four-year, $3.83 million deal with the Patriots.
Roberts was the winner of the 2021 Cliff Harris Award as the nation’s best small-college defensive player as a member of the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats. He also was the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year as a tackle for Northwest Missouri State, an NCAA Division II power that finished 11-2 last season with a No. 4 national ranking. He collected 61 tackles, including 18 for loss with 6.5 sacks to his credit.
The 24-year-old was invited to the Hula Bowl, where he measured 6-4, 287. He impressively competed against big-school blockers from the likes of Florida, Florida State, Miami and Michigan State. His showing there earned him a late invitation to the East-West Shrine Game where he competed against blockers from Arkansas, Baylor, Southern Cal and Virginia Tech.
At the conclusion of his six-year collegiate career, he had compiled 184 tackles. 18.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and five blocked kicks — appearing in a total of 50 games for Northwest Missouri State.
Roberts’ contract consists of non-guaranteed salaries of $705,000 (for 2022), $870,000 ( for 2023), $985,000 ( for 2024) and $1.1 million (for 2025). The deal also includes an annual signing bonus proration of $42,869.
Per Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Benzan, Roberts’ signing bonus proration of $42,869 will hit the Pats’ salary roll upon signing, as his deal does not qualify for the Top-51 rule. His $705,000 salary will only hit the team’s books if Roberts makes the 53-man roster for the regular season.
Roberts joins fellow defensive tackles Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore, Carl Davis, Byron Cowart, Daniel Ekuale and Bill Murray on the team’s depth chart heading into the continuation of offseason workouts. Roberts is expected to attend rookie minicamp, which is set to begin on Friday, May 13 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.