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Patriots reportedly re-sign their first free agent, keep QB Nathan Rourke on a 1-year deal

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By: Bernd Buchmasser

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Rourke joined the Patriots late during the 2023 season.

With the official start of NFL free agency less than two weeks away, the New England Patriots have re-signed their first player. Quarterback Nathan Rourke has signed his one-year exclusive rights free agency tender, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

A former undrafted free agent out of Ohio University, Rourke arrived in New England in mid-December. Joining a quarterback room consisting of Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, he initially served as the team’s No. 3 before being elevate to the backup spot over Jones for the season finale versus the New York Jets.

The 25-year-old did not appear in any games for the Patriots in 2023, however. Nonetheless, he has now become the first free agent re-signed by the team’s new regime under head coach Jerod Mayo and director of scouring Eliot Wolf.

Before joining the Patriots, Rourke spent time with the CFL’s B.C. Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Besides three preseason games as a Jaguar, in which he did not attempt a single pass, he has no NFL game experience.

With Rourke now under contract for 2024, 21 Patriots free agents remain unaccounted for. Five of those are carrying the exclusive rights label like Rourke.

This year’s free agency is set to open on March 13 at 4 p.m. ET. The so-called legal tampering window will open two days earlier.

Originally posted on Pats Pulpit