Duke Dawson signs rookie contract, locks in for minicamp

USA Today Sports

The Patriots announced on Tuesday that second-round pick Duke Dawson has signed his rookie contract. While terms were not announced, PatsPulpit estimates the deal should be worth around $4.7 million plus another $1.5 million signing bonus--the bonus, plus his two first-year salaries (roughly $885k and $1.1 million respectively) will be guaranteed, bringing the total guaranteed number closer to $3.5 million.

Meanwhile, Dawson also took some time to talk with the media about his experience in rookie minicamp and his mindset for the upcoming season. Per MassLive:

"Everything is earned, not given...Everyone doesn't really make it up to this level...I just try to embrace every moment and keep myself focused and in the right lane...I'm not here to prove anything. I'm here to work and do whatever the coaches tell me to do, work on technique, just try to better myself on and off the field."

While the article made a point of stressing that rookies aren't specifically fed those lines, the atmosphere surrounding minicamp all but bludgeons the work-work-work mentality into the players. Jersey numbers are a great example--Dawson, a slot corner, is wearing number 52, while quarterback Danny Etling is currently saddled with 58. While Dawson himself might not have anything to worry about (a second-round rookie is a pretty safe roster lock), it's obvious he's quickly absorbing the Patriot Way. If he wants to become the Patriots' slot corner of the future, it's a crucial mentality to have.

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