FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they signed free agent OL James Ferentz, rookie free agent TE Sam Cotton and 2017 fourth-round draft choice (131st overall) DL Deatrich Wise, Jr. Terms of the contracts were not announced.
Additionally, the Patriots released OL Chris Barker.
Ferentz, 27, is a veteran of two NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos (2015-16). The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Houston Texans out of Iowa in 2014 and spent his entire first season on the Houston practice squad. He was released by Houston on Sept. 5, 2015 and claimed off waivers by Denver on Sept. 6, 2015. Ferentz played in 14 games on offense and on special teams for Denver in 2014 and played in one postseason game during the Broncos’ run to the Super Bowl 50 title, seeing action against New England in the AFC Championship Game. Last season, he played in seven games for Denver. He was released by the Broncos on May 10, 2017.
Cotton, 23, played in 31 games with 23 starts during his four-year career at Nebraska and caught 17 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder, played in 13 games with 11 starts as a senior in 2016 and registered eight receptions for 87 yards.
Wise, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 131st overall selection out of Arkansas. The 6-foot-5, 271-pounder, played in 50 games with 10 starts at Arkansas and tallied 112 tackles, 16½ sacks, six passes defensed and four forced fumbles. His 16½ sacks rank 10th in school history.
Barker, 26, originally joined the Patriots when he was claimed off waivers from Miami on Sept. 1, 2013. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder, entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Miami out of Nevada on May 3, 2013. He played in four games as a rookie in 2013 with the Patriots. He has spent the majority of the last three seasons on the New England practice squad, seeing action in one game in 2014 and one game in 2015.