COMMENTARY| As OTAs (Organized Team Activities) continue for the New England Patriots, the team is also working to bring all of their rookies into the fold. Most recently, they signed their fourth-round draft choice, wide receiver Josh Boyce.
According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots have inked Boyce to a four-year contract worth $2.637 million, along with a $477,000 signing bonus.
The 23-year-old Boyce is 5'11" and 206 pounds. A high school teammate of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, he attended Texas Christian University, where he totaled 161 receptions, 2,535 receiving yards, a 15.7 yards-per-reception average and 22 touchdowns in his career. He is also the school's all-time leader in receptions and second in receiving yards.
Last year, Boyce accumulated 66 catches for 891 yards and seven touchdowns for the Horned Frogs.
He had a strong showing prior to the draft, putting up a 4.38 40-yard time, but may have had his stock slip a bit because of a broken bone in his foot. However, it's important to note he suffered the injury before the combine, making his showing all the more impressive.
The pick (102nd overall) New England used to choose Boyce was acquired last season in the trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that brought cornerback Aqib Talib to Foxboro and swapped several future draft choices.
According to ESPN Boston's Field Yates, Boyce's foot prevented him from participating in the Patriots' rookie minicamp earlier in May. He also recently sat out the team's OTA practices but was present and doing light work off the field.
Boyce's signing means the Patriots now have five of their seven 2013 draft picks under contract for the upcoming season. Only wide receiver Aaron Dobson (second round) and defensive end Michael Buchanan (seventh round) remain unsigned.
Once he is able to play, Boyce will face stiff competition from the New England receivers. In addition to Dobson, the team has returners Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater and Kamar Aiken, along with free-agent signings Danny Amendola, Donald Jones, Michael Jenkins and Lavelle Hawkins. If that wasn't enough, the team also signed several undrafted free agents.Given his draft position, it would be a shock to not see Boyce make the team and have an impact on the 2013 Patriots. Once his foot is healthy and he gets back on the field, he will be able to show the team what it really has and give them a better idea of how he may be able to contribute.
Andrew Martin is a Yahoo! contributor who also covers the Boston Red Sox for Bleacher Report. He has appeared on various sports talk shows and podcasts, and written on the topics of sports and history for a number of print publications and websites.
You can follow Andrew on Twitter @historianandrew
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