Fletcher's contract with Pats

Linebacker Dane Fletcher missed the entire 2012 campaign due to a torn ACL and was set to become a restricted free agent in March. However, the New England Patriots wasted no time making sure he wouldn't test the market by signing him to a new contract last week.

Fletcher is expected to get in a full offseason of preparation with the Pats and figures to be an important part of their special teams and a contributing reserve on defense. ESPNBoston.com's Field Yates has the latest on the friendly contract he signed with the Pats:

Closer look at Fletcher's contract

"There's not a lot of bells and whistles to Fletcher's one-year deal, and it's a minimal risk deal for the team. The $65,000 paid to Fletcher to sign is a modest price for a player who, if healthy, projects to be a core special teams performer and possible defensive contributor. The base salary of $555,000 is also a modest price, despite the fact that Fletcher is coming off of major knee surgery. Given the time of his injury last season, Fletcher should be close to 100 percent by the time training camp begins. Getting this straightforward deal done before Fletcher hit restricted free agency is a positive for both Fletcher and the team, as he has the security of a contract coming off of the injury, and the team squared away one offseason task."