Patriots sign 7 to futures contracts, including Underwood

The Patriots announced this evening that they have signed seven players to futures contracts:

WR Tiquan Underwood
DB Ross Ventrone
LB Markell Carter
OL Matt Kopa
DE Aaron Lavarias
WR Britt Davis
LB Mike Rivera

Underwood became known nationally on Saturday night when he was released from the 53-man roster by New England on the eve of the Super Bowl in order for DE Alex Silvestri to be promoted for the game. It was believed that Silvestri might play on special teams against the Giants, but he never got into the game.

Ventrone was part of 21 roster transactions during the season, shuffling between the 53-man roster and practice squad. He played in eight regular-season games, mostly on special teams. Under league rules, had he played in a ninth game, Ventrone would no longer be eligible for practice squad.

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Carter, a seventh-round draft pick last spring who spent the entire season on practice squad, received a hefty pay raise from the Pats in December, likely an indication that another team tried to sign Carter away from New England.

Kopa, Lavarias, Davis and Rivera also were members of the practice squad.