Patriots officially sign Wilson; Hartline released

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Patriots officially sign Wilson; Hartline released

Now that the NFL's CBA makes it easier to determine how much rookies will be paid, first-year players are being signed at a breakneck pace around the league this offseason.

The Patriots officially got in on the act Tuesday, announcing that they have signed second-round pick Tavon Wilson. The defensive back from Illinois was the 48th overall selection in the 2012 draft.

Wilson is the first of New England's seven draft picks to sign after being one of the team's most surprising selections this spring. Though it was widely expected that the Patriots would improve their secondary through the draft, Wilson -- who wasn't invited to the NFL Combine -- was scarcely mentioned by pundits in the weeks leading up to draft weekend.

The Patriots, however, were undaunted in their pursuit of the athletic and versatile defensive back. Wilson played both safety and cornerback in college, and he should compete for time immediately in what was a very fluid secondary last season.

Terms of the contract were not announced, but Fox Sports reported last week that it is a four-year deal.

The Patriots also announced the release of quarterback Mike Hartline. Hartline, 23, had been signed to a future contract by the Patriots back in January.

Giardi: First- and second-round pick would be ‘blockbuster’ for Garoppolo

Giardi: First- and second-round pick would be ‘blockbuster’ for Garoppolo

Rumor has it there are NFL teams willing to send a 'blockbuster trade' to the New England Patriots for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Mike Giardi describes what he thinks would be a blockbuster trade for Jimmy G.

Bennett to critics: ‘You take a paycut’

Bennett to critics: ‘You take a paycut’

Martellus Bennett is as good at Twitter as he is at football. Add to that the fact that all eyes are on whether the free agent will stay in New England and the @MartysaurusRex account becomes a must-follow. 

On Wednesday, Bennett put his powers to good use and shared a glimpse into his line of thinking regarding free agency.

Bennett, who could very well leave the Pats for more money, responded to a criticism of his desire to get paid and followed it with several more musings.