While the Patriots have yet to make a splash on the free-agent market, they have at least come to terms with one of their rookies.
The Pats signed sixth-round pick Markell Carter to a four-year deal Wednesday, according to multiple reports. Carter played defensive end at Central Arkansas and is expected to convert to outside linebacker in the Patriots' system.
Carter is the first draft pick to sign with the Patriots this week.
Jermaine Cunningham and Rob Ninkovich figure to start at outside linebacker for the Pats, who will release Tully Banta-Cain on Thursday, and Carter should fill in with Eric Moore as a situational pass rusher.
Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, all draft picks must sign four-year contracts.