The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots have yet to work out new contracts with their first-round picks. Tannehill, the No. 8 overall pick, is scheduled to report to Miami on July 26. Hightower, the No. 25 pick, is due with the Patriots on Thursday. Neither player can report until they sign on the dotted line.
The clock is ticking for both rookies. Although a long shot, Tannehill is in a three-way quarterback competition Matt Moore and David Garrard for the starting quarterback job with the Dolphins. Tannehill quickly can go from "long shot" to "no shot" if he misses time in camp. Hightower also is trying to find his role at linebacker with the reigning AFC champions. The Patriots are not kind to rookies, and Hightower will get started on the wrong foot if he’s late to camp.
The Washington Redskins signed No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III on Tuesday. Griffin is the only rookie in the top eight to sign. Rookie contracts overall are much easier following the addition of a rookie wage scale in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Every player has a slotted amount, based on their draft status.
That should mean there's no reason for Dolphins and Patriots fans to panic. But time is running short for Tannehill and Hightower.