Completing NFL contracts for players selected in the first round is a tricky business. For the agent, getting the best possible deal is an obvious must. The agent is not only looking to get the most amount of money for his client (and himself) but also indirectly recruiting future clients by nailing a big money deal. For the team, it's about standing your ground and spreading the money out so the salary cap hit is manageable.
Both sides will haggle and it can be a long and drawn out process. The team will point to the money paid to the player in the same slot the previous year as the starting point. The agent will make a case that his client deserves a certain percentage increase. Offers, counter-offers, counter to the counter-offer and so on.
As Chris noted yesterday, the lower round draft picks usually complete their deals up to several weeks in advance of the first rounders. The money is less, both sides pay attention to the slotted pay from the previous year and there's less variance.
As of now, the players selected directly before and after the Kansas City Chiefs fifth round draft pick Colin Brown have been inked to deals. That means we can get pretty darn close to projecting what Brown's deal with the Chiefs will be.
If these numbers are familiar, then you've been paying attention to me more than
you should be I thought. The base salaries are identical to the base salaries all the Chiefs undrafted free agents received. This appears to be a pretty standard contract.
(Upon further investigation, it appears nearly every late round pick that has signed has these base salaries. Even Matthew Stafford has identical base salaries for the first two years of his deal. What really counts here is the signing bonus money so keep that in mind.)
We know Knox received a $204,240 signing bonus which brings his grand total to four years, $1.945 million or an average of $486,250 per year. Middleton's signing bonus hasn't been reported yet and those figures aren't tracked (at least publicly) by the NFLPA.
The player selected in Brown's spot last year signed a four year, $1.903 million contract which includes a $198,000 signing bonus. This tells us that with these late round picks the signing bonus will increase a slight percentage and make virtually no difference in the final contract.
A guess as to Brown's final numbers will be the base salaries indicated above, with a $205,000 signing bonus, which would bring his total to four years, $1,945,760 or an average of $486,440 per year.
We'll continue tracking the floor and ceiling of the Chiefs draft contracts and keep you updated with estimations of their future deals.
H/T to the trusty Mac's Football Blog for the complete list of draft pick signings.