Patriots Sign Seven Players to Future Contracts Including Ross Ventrone, Markell Carter

The Patriots' 2012 offseason got off to an official start on Tuesday, as they announced the signings of seven players to future contracts.

Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, safety Ross Ventrone, defensive end Markell Carter, tackle Matt Kopa, defensive end Aaron Lavarias, linebacker Mike Rivera and wide receiver Britt Davis all agreed to terms with the team. All seven players were with the Patriots in 2011.

Underwood was on the active roster until he was released Saturday night. The other six players finished the season on the Patriots' practice squad.

The Patriots retained their entire practice squad with the exception of tight end Carson Butler and wide receiver Dorin Dickerson (practice squad/reserve).

Future contracts are essentially invitations to offseason workouts and camps.

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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