The signing was widely anticipated as rookie contracts are mostly slotted as part of the collective bargaining agreement, although Easley's didn't come as quickly as most others. There are currently just five draft picks across the NFL who have yet to sign with their team.
The Patriots are counting on Easley to provide an interior pass rush. Easley tore his ACL in 2011 and 2013 while at Florida, but has recovered to the point that he practiced with the Patriots for the first time last Thursday.
In addition to Easley's signing, the Patriots also announced that undrafted rookie free-agent offensive tackle Chris Martin (Central Florida) is joining the team to fill the final open spot on the 90-man roster. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Martin played in 46 games (27 starts) at Central Florida, with experience at both tackle spots. He initially signed with the Texans on May 16, but was released May 27.