Christopher Price of WEEI.com reports that the Patriots have signed inside linebacker Gary Guyton to a two-year contract, which includes a $650,000 signing bonus.
Guyton’s exclusive rights tender originally entitled him to one-year, $470,000 deal, but according to his agent Richard Kopelman, the Patriots were aggressive in making sure Guyton was able to stay with New England for more of an extended stretch.
“Gary and I are both extremely pleased with the situation, and the development in terms of a commitment to Gary,” Kopelman said. “As you know, they didn’t have to do this, but they have certainly shown the commitment that goes well above and beyond.”
Guyton, a former undrafted free agent from Georgia Tech, will now remain a Patriot through the 2011 season. Last year, Guyton made 85 tackles in 16 games during his second season with the Patriots. One of the fastest defenders on the team, he entered the league strictly as a pass-coverage specialist, but has since evolved into an every-down linebacker. He started every regular-season game last year (as well as the playoff loss to the Ravens), and was the centerpiece of the defense when MLB (and close friend) Jerod Mayo went down with a knee injury last season. In all, Guyton was on the field for 83 percent of all defensive snaps in 2009.
“Gary has worked so hard since Day One,” Kopelman added. “He’s been a fantastic performer, both on and off the field. Any time you are rewarded for your efforts, that’s fantastic.”