The Patriots have signed punter Zoltan Mesko to a four-year deal. (UPDATE, 5:41 pm: The Patriots have confirmed the signing via Twitter.) The fifth-round selection out of Michigan is the fifth Patriots pick to sign, joining offensive tackle Thomas Welch, offensive lineman Ted Larsen, wide receiver Taylor Price and tight end Aaron Hernandez.

FOXBORO — Addressing the media for the first time since reports surfaced he had failed a drug test while playing at the University of Florida, rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez said those issues are “in the past,” and he’s looking forward to a new start with the Patriots.

“I’m just worried about the future and the present,” he said Wednesday after a minicamp session at Gillette Stadium. “I’ve forgotten about the past. I just keep grinding, trying to do the best I can for this team.

According to NFLLabor.com, the Patriots rookies will report to training camp on July 25, while the veterans are scheduled to report on July 28. (Check out the full list here.) The Patriots rookies are tied for the third-earliest to report, trailing only Cleveland (July 23) and Dallas (July 24). San Diego’s rookies also report on July 25. Several other teams will have their vets report on July 28, including Baltimore, Cincinnati, Oakland and Carolina.

Guard Logan Mankins was not in attendance Tuesday at the first day of the Patriots' mini-camp. Mankins declined to sign the Patriots' restricted free agent offer Monday and reportedly has been asked to be traded. According to multiple reports, Mankins turned down an offer of seven years, $35 million from the team. The Patriots retain his rights, with contract tender standing at $1.54 million (110 percent of his 2009 contract.)

 

Patriots Pro Bowl offensive lineman Logan Mankins said Monday he has no intention of signing his restricted free agent tender and wants to be traded.

In an interview with ESPN, he described himself as being "frustrated," and said he has no intention of signing his $3.26 million tender.

"I want to be traded," he said. "I don't need to be here any more."

Mankins has until 11:59 p.m. ET to sign the one-year tender, but it doesn't sound like he'll do that.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed to the media Monday morning that running back Sam "Bam" Cunningham is the latest inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Cunningham, the Patriots' career rushing leader with 5,453 yards, finished his tenure in New England with 49 overall touchdowns to rank third in franchise history. He is a member of the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team and the 1970s All-Decade Team. Cunningham edged center Jon Morris and defensive tackle Houston Antwine, who were the other finalists.

The Patriots announced Friday afternoon they have signed running back Thomas Clayton and released wide receiver Bryan Anderson, punter David King and quarterback Mike Teel. Clayton, a 5-foot-11, 222-pound running back from Kansas State, was originally drafted by San Francisco in the sixth round of the 2007 draft. After spending all of 2007 on the San Francisco practice squad, he spent the first 14 weeks of 2008 as part of that unit until being signed to the active roster for the final two games of the season.

FOXBORO — When it comes to the Patriots, no skill position offers more of a contrast in age than wide receiver.



According to multiple reports, the Patriots have sent Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins a letter that says if he doesn't agree to play for the tendered restricted free agent salary of $3.26 million the Patriots extended him by the June 15 deadline, they will exercise their right to drop his 2010 contract to 110 percent of his 2009 salary. That means that Mankins, who made $1.4 million in base salary last season, would be in line to make just over $1.5 million if he doesn't sign his tender offer by Tuesday's deadline.

A league source has confirmed the Patriots and fourth-round pick Aaron Hernandez have agreed on a four-year contract.

A tight end out of Florida who was taken with the 113th overall selection in the NFL draft, Hernandez is the fourth member of New England’s 2010 draft class to sign, joining offensive linemen Ted Larsen and Thomas Welch and wide receiver Taylor Price.

The news was first reported by the Boston Herald.