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Patriots sign seven players to future contracts

Posted Feb 7, 2012

The New England Patriots have signed LB Markell Carter, WR Britt Davis, OL Matt Kopa, DE Aaron Lavarias, LB Mike Rivera, WR Tiquan Underwood and DB Ross Ventrone to future contracts today.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have signed LB Markell Carter, WR Britt Davis, OL Matt Kopa, DE Aaron Lavarias, LB Mike Rivera, WR Tiquan Underwood and DB Ross Ventrone to future contracts today.

Carter, 6-4, 248 pounds, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft with the 194th selection overall out of Central Arkansas. He was released by the Patriots on Sept. 3 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 5.

Davis, 6-3, 205 pounds, joined the New England practice squad on Jan. 4, 2012. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the New York Jets in 2009 and spent part of that year on the New York practice squad. Davis was released by the Jets after training camp in 2010 and was then was signed by Denver where he began the year on the practice squad. Davis was signed to the 53-man roster on Dec. 13, 2010 and played in three games for the Broncos. He was released by Denver at the end of training camp this past summer.

Kopa, 6-6, 303 pounds, joined the New England practice squad on Sept. 5, 2011. He was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie free agent out of Stanford on June 8, 2010. He was released by the 49ers on Sept. 3, 2010 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 5, 2010. Kopa was signed to the Miami Dolphins 53-man roster from the 49ers practice squad on Nov. 9, 2010 but was inactive for the final eight games of the season. He was released by Miami on Sept. 3, 2011.

Lavarias, 6-2, 255 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on July 27, 2011 as a rookie free agent out of Idaho. He was released on Sept. 3, 2011 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 5. Lavarias was released by the Patriots on Sept. 14 and spent time on the Detroit practice squad before being re-signed to the New England practice squad on Dec. 28.

Rivera, 6-2, 253 pounds, joined the New England practice squad on Nov. 9, 2011. He spent time on the Tennessee practice squad in 2009 and the Green Bay practice squad in 2010 before being signed to the Miami 53-man roster for the final game of the 2010 season. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Chicago out of Kansas in 2009. Rivera was released by Miami following the 2011 training camp.  

Underwood played in five games for New England in 2011 and caught three passes for 30 yards. Underwood, 6-1, 183 pounds, originally entered the NFL as a seventh round draft choice (253rd overall) by Jacksonville in 2009 out of Rutgers. After beginning his rookie season on the practice squad, he joined the 53-man roster and appeared in three games, mainly on special teams. Last season, he played in 10 games and caught eight passes for 111 yards and returned 24 kicks for 561 yards, including a career-long of 53 yards in the season-opener vs. Denver (9/12). He was released by Jacksonville on Aug. 25, 2011 and was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 29. Underwood was released by the Patriots on Sept. 3 before being signed back on Nov. 24.

Ventrone, 5-8, 190 pounds, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Villanova on April 29, 2010. He was waived by the Patriots on Sept. 4 and then signed to the practice squad on Oct. 19 where he spent the rest of his rookie season. Ventrone spent time on the 53-man roster and the practice squad this past season. He played in eight games and finished with 1 tackle and 2 special teams tackles.

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