Rookie tight end Lee Smith, a fifth-round pick out of Marshall, has reached agreement with the Patriots on a contract, a source confirmed.
Smith, selected 159th overall, had a total rookie allocation of $2.29 million.
Smith becomes the second of the Patriots' nine selections to have a known agreement, which puts him in position to be on the field Thursday for the first practice open to the public. He was considered one of the strongest blocking tight ends in this year's draft.
The Patriots are deep at tight end with Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Smith, Carson Butler and rookie free agent Will Yeatman.
With Crumpler still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, the team's younger tight ends should receive plenty of quality repetitions in training camp. The Patriots carried three tight ends last season, but a scenario exists this year where they could bump the number to four, which would require trimming from elsewhere on the roster.