- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (AP) - First-round draft choice Devin McCourty signed a five-year deal with the New England Patriots on Wednesday as the team reached its goal of having all 12 picks under contract by the start of training camp.

The contract for the cornerback from Rutgers is worth $13.2 million with $7.825 million guaranteed, according to his agent, Andy Simms.

Rookies were due to report on Sunday, but the first full-squad workout is set for Thursday morning. McCourty, taken with the 27th overall pick, is the second first-round choice to sign. Dez Bryant, the Oklahoma State wide receiver chosen 24th by the Dallas Cowboys, is the other.

McCourty, who is expected to compete for a starting job, was eager to report by Wednesday, when veterans were due at 7 a.m. Simms said McCourty signed his contract at about 7 a.m.

“We worked pretty late (Tuesday) to get to this point,” Simms said. “We know what’s important in New England and that’s to get to camp on time.”

The deal signed by last year’s 27th pick, running back Donald Brown of Connecticut who was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts, was a factor in the McCourty talks, Simms said. Brown signed a five-year, $12.835 contract with $6.845 million guaranteed.

The negotiations took place with the possibility of a lockout in 2011 if management and the players’ union can’t agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.

“The pending labor situation is something we had to consider. We worked with the Patriots on some of the issues,” Simms said.

McCourty is expected to challenge Darius Butler, the 41st overall draft pick last year, for a starting spot. Butler started five of the 14 games he played in with three interceptions. In four seasons at Rutgers, McCourty had six interceptions and started the last 39 games at cornerback. He also blocked six punts and a field goal attempt.

Leigh Bodden, going into his eighth season and second with the Patriots, is the other starting cornerback.

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