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Camden's Austin signs futures contract with Patriots

Posted: January 20, 2011 11:19 a.m.
Updated: January 21, 2011 5:00 a.m.
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Thomas Austin

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed Camden’s Thomas Austin to a futures contract on Wednesday.

Austin, 6-4, 310 pounds, was originally signed by Minnesota as a rookie free agent on April 24, 2010 out of Clemson. He was waived by Minnesota on Sept. 4 and joined the New England practice squad on Sept. 29.

Futures contracts are deals that are signed for 2011, even though the upcoming season does not officially begin until March. Only players who were not on any NFL team’s active roster when 2010 concluded are eligible for such signings; if they were under contract, then they would remain so until March.

By signing a futures contract, Austin is eligible to take part in all the OTA (organized team activities) as well as the team’s mini-camps in the spring.

Austin is a 2008 graduate of Clemson University in political science in the classroom and was an All-American and All-ACC selection on the football field in his four seasons with the Tigers (2006-09). A 2005 Camden High School graduate, Austin was a member of the Bulldogs’ undeafeated 2001 AAA state championship team and was a 2004 All-State and Shrine Bowl selection. He was also a AAA state heavyweight wrestling champion as a junior in 2004.

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