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Chiefs finally sign last 2023 draft pick

Like with most other NFL teams, Kansas City’s second-round pick Rashee Rice is the final one to be signed.

NFL: MAY 24 Kansas City Chiefs OTA Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Thursday — just as the team was concluding its mandatory minicamp, starting a break that will conclude when training camp begins — the Kansas City Chiefs announced that they had signed their second-round selection from the 2023 NFL Draft: former SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice.

Rice was the last of the drafted players to sign his rookie deal.

On May 16, the players taken from the third through seventh rounds — tackle Wanya Morris, safety Chamarri Conner, defensive end B.J. Thompson, defensive tackle Keondre Coburn and cornerback Nic Jones — had their signings announced. Three days later, first-round defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah’s contract signing was made official.

Many fans have been concerned that Rice remained unsigned. But as we explained on June 7, Rice was simply one of many second-round picks around the league who have been the last to be officially signed by their teams.

Since rookie wage scales were first established in 2011, players at the top of the draft have managed to get better terms in the details of their contracts. As these precedents have been established (and expanded to include players taken later and later in the draft), we’ve finally reached the point where first-round players tend to sign their deals before players taken in the second round.

While minor contract details like the schedule for signing bonus payments, guaranteed money and offset language in Rice’s rookie deal have been subject to negotiation, the amount of money Rice will earn (and his 2023 cap hit) have never been up for debate; those figures are set by his draft position. His signing reduces the team’s cap space by about $240,000. We now estimate that Kansas City has $859,000 in salary-cap space.

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