PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles’ 2015 draft class is under contract.
On Thursday, third-round pick Jordan Hicks agreed to terms on a four-year contract. A linebacker from the University of Texas, Hicks was the sixth and final draft choice to agree to contract terms.
Former general manager Howie Roseman, who remains in charge of contracts and managing the salary cap, gets some credit for taking care of business. So does the NFL’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement, which took much of the negotiating out of the process. The CBA creates a formula for paying players based on where they are selected. There isn’t much reason for agents to hold players out of training camp.
For example, Hicks’ deal will pay him about $2.28 million over four seasons, according to Overthecap.com.
By signing all their draft picks, the Eagles assured that all will be able to report for the start of training camp. Under previous collective bargaining agreements, it wasn’t uncommon for picks to remain unsigned until camp began.
By signing early, the draft picks reduce the risk of injury. Last week, Jacksonville’s Dante Fowler Jr., the No. 3 overall pick, tore an anterior cruciate ligament during the Jaguars’ rookie camp. He had not yet signed a contract. Four days after the injury, the team signed Fowler to a $23.5 million contract.
In that case, the team showed good faith by sticking with the guidelines set forth in the CBA, even though Fowler is unlikely to play at all during his rookie season.