Patriots safety Brandon King signs exclusive rights tender

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Second-year New England Patriots safety Brandon King, who was second on the club in special teams tackles with 12 last season, has signed his exclusive rights free-agent tender.

The move was considered a formality for King, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn and spent the first three games of the season on the Patriots' practice squad before earning a promotion.

King is part of a core group of special teams players led by Patriots captain Matthew Slater. Last December, he shared his "football journey" with ESPN.com, describing why he signed with New England after the draft: "I researched different programs and seeing how things worked, and what type of opportunity I might have. I remembered Malcolm [Butler] from the Super Bowl. He was a free agent. So why not?”

Patriots special teams tackle leaders (2015)

Matthew Slater -- 17

Brandon King -- 12

Nate Ebner -- 11

Joe Cardona -- 3

Patrick Chung -- 3

Darius Fleming -- 3

Eric Martin -- 3