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Patriots sign 12 players to future contracts

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots have signed 12 players to future contracts.

In addition to signing the Patriots nine practice squad players to future contracts, the Patriots signed DL Antonio Johnson, LB Rufus Johnson and RB Dion Lewis.

OL Chris Barker, DE Jake Bequette, QB Garrett Gilbert, DB Justin Green, OL Caylin Hauptmann, WR Jonathan Krause, LB Eric Martin, LB Deontae Skinner and DB Daxton Swanson all finished the season on the new England practice squad.


Johnson (Antonio), 30, is a veteran of six NFL seasons with Indianapolis (2008-2012) and Tennessee (2013). The 6-foot3, 328-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick (152nd overall) by Tennessee out of Mississippi State in the 2007 NFL Draft. Johnson began his rookie season on the Tennessee practice squad before being signed to the Indianapolis 53-man roster. He re-signed with Tennessee as an unrestricted free agent in the 2014 offseason but was released by the Titans prior to the start of the regular season. He has played in 83 NFL games with 52 starts and has accumulated 143 total tackles, 4½ sacks and three passes defensed.

Johnson (Rufus), 24, was originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the sixth round (183rd overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Tarleton State. The 6-foot-5, 272-pounder, was released by the Saints prior to the start of the regular season.

Lewis, 24, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with Philadelphia (2011-2012) and Cleveland (2013). He was released by Cleveland at the end of training camp last season and was signed by Indianapolis, who then released him six days later. The 5-foot-8, 195-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick (149th overall) out of Pittsburgh by Philadelphia in the 2011 NFL Draft. He was traded by Philadelphia to Cleveland on April 11, 2013 in exchange for LB Emmanuel Acho. Lewis spent the 2013 season on injured reserve with a leg injury. He has played in 24 NFL games and has 171 yards rushing on 36 attempts with two touchdowns and has three receptions for 21 yards.

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