Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Ted asks via Facebook: Hey Mike, not sure if you have already covered this. Why is it important for the Lions to sign their #1 pick before draft day? Also, if a #1 is signed, does that mean the Rams can also sign their #2 pick before draft day? Thanks!
Mike Sando: The rule allowing NFL teams holding the No. 1 overall choice to negotiate benefits those teams by allowing them to play prospects against one another. The Lions, while reportedly making progress toward a deal with Matthew Stafford, have also flaunted potential interest in Aaron Curry. The posturing should help the Lions get a deal done.
The Lions' negotiations have no bearing on the Rams. In the past, NFL rules did not allow the team drafting second to begin negotiations with prospects once the team drafting first reaches agreement with the top pick. That rule could change, according to a league spokesman, but my understanding is that the Rams aren't necessarily interested in reaching agreement before the draft.
Update: The league has clarified this issue by saying, "If Detroit selects and signs their player before the drafts begins, then St. Louis can negotiate with [another player], but cannot select or sign him until they are on the clock on Draft day." Again, I do not expect the Rams to negotiate with players before the draft. Will keep you posted if that changes, obviously.