The Patriots reportedly reached an agreement on a contract Wednesday with tight end Lee Smith, a fifth-round pick out of Marshall. The 6-foot-6, 266-pounder with the 159th overall pick in the draft, and is the second pick to agree to a deal on Wednesday. (Sixth-round selection Markell Carter reached an agreement earlier in the day on a four-year deal.) According to Aaron Wilson of — who quotes a league source — Smith received a $171,480 signing bonus.

Sammy Morris signed a one-year deal with the Patriots on Wednesday afternoon, according to his agent Mark Slough. Terms were not disclosed. The 34-year-old Morris has spent the last four years in New England, and rushed for 56 yards in limited action last season. For more Patriots information, check out

The Patriots agreed on a deal with their sixth-round draft pick Markell Carter Wednesday afternoon — a four-year contract — according to a league source. Carter is the first Patriots pick to sign this year. A 6-foot-4, 248-pounder out of Central Arkansas, he totaled 62 tackles, 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles as a senior, and finished his college career with 16.5 sacks. For more Patriots information, check out

The Patriots became the first team in the NFL to vote unanimously to recertify the National Football League Players Association as a union after lengthy meeting with NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith on Wednesday, according to Ron Borges of the Boston Herald. The recertification of the players' association is expected to continue throughout training camp and without an issue, as all 32 teams are expected to vote on the issue sooner rather than later. For more Patriots news, check out

Former Patriots Pro Bowl linebacker Tedy Bruschi will join The Big Show with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley every Monday from 4-6 p.m. during the NFL season as part of WEEI's Patriots Monday. Bruschi will be on hand to interview coach Bill Belichick each week beginning Aug. 15. 

Bruschi made an appearance on Tuesday's Big Show and touched on a number of Patriots-related topics:

The antitrust suit -- Tom Brady v. NFL -- has been settled according to court documents filed in Minnesota District Court, reports. Both sides of the labor dispute advised the court of their intent to settle the case, a necessary condition of formally agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement. The next step is for the NFLPA to re-form as a union.

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FOXBORO — It was back to the business of football Tuesday morning at Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots returned to work for the first time since the NFL lockout ended.

According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, Logan Mankins will sign a franchise tender with the Patriots and report to training camp on time.

The All-Pro guard missed the first seven games of last season with contract issues before signing a $1.54 million tender. He is expected to earn about $10.1 million this season, unless the Patriots and Mankins can work out a long-term contract before September 20.

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According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots have informed linebacker Tully Banta-Cain that he will be released on Thursday.

Banta-Cain -- who underwent surgery last Friday to repair an abdominal tear -- had a team-best 10 sacks in 2010 and five sacks in 2011, second on the club to Mike Wright's 5.5. 

Banta-Cain was set to earn a base salary of $2.3 million in 2011.

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Former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich has signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent.

"Decision is made I will be a #GIANT can't wait to get to #NYC. Thank you for everything." tweeted Herzlich on Tuesday morning.