A few e-mails today have asked the following question: How does third-round pick Tyrone McKenzie, who is out for the year with a torn ACL, get paid since he is not under contract?
After speaking with an agent, here is a snapshot of how it works:
Prior to draft picks participating in a mini-camp, their agents receive a tender letter and an injury protection agreement from teams.
The tender letter says that by drafting the player, the team has the player's rights. The injury protection agreement notes that in the event of a career or season-ending injury, the team will negotiate in good faith based on the contract the player at that spot received the year before.
In this case, McKenzie was selected 97th overall.
Last year's 97th overall pick, Bengals receiver Andre Caldwell, received a reported four-year, $2.265 million contract with a $560,000 signing bonus.
Because the Patriots agreed to negotiate in good faith, McKenzie can still expect to sign a similar contract to Caldwell's.