On the radar: Signing draft picks

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

The Chicago Bears' aggressive approach in signing their draft choices annually sparks a wave of panic among fans of other NFC North teams. It's June 10 and my team hasn't signed anyone! What's going on?

During our SportsNation chat earlier this week, Josh of Nashville asked when he should start getting worried about the Detroit Lions having two unsigned first-round picks. The truth is that the rookie signing season really doesn't start until the second week of July. That's typically when NFL executives return from summer vacation and when more agents start feeling comfortable within the market.

As we discussed last weekend, there are only a few advantages to signing draft picks well before the start of training camp. And some teams don't enter into negotiations as long as organized team activities are taking place because they want to maximize their roster space. (Unsigned rookies don't count against the 80-man roster.)

Other than the Bears' five-man class, only one other NFC North draft pick has signed a contract: Minnesota Vikings fullback Ryan D'Imperio -- the second of their seventh-round selections. It's possible that a few more low- to mid-round picks will sign in the next few weeks, but it's highly unlikely we'll get to a substantive point on the division's first-rounders -- the Lions' Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best, along with the Green Bay Packers' Bryan Bulaga -- for another month.

So sit tight, stay tuned and don't panic.