Williamson third of top 10 draft choices to reach deal

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings on Sunday reached agreement in principle with wide receiver Troy Williamson, the earlier of their two first-round draft choices. The South Carolina star was the seventh overall selection in April and is just the third player in the top 10 to strike a contract agreement.

Defensive end Erasmus James of Wisconsin, the Vikings' latter pick in the first round and the 18th overall choice, remains unsigned. The two sides, however, are said to be closing in on a deal.

Williamson's agent, David Canter, said late Sunday night that
the particulars of the complicated contract were still being
completed -- and that it might take another day for his client to
sign it and report to camp. The deal is essentially for five years
and could be worth up to $32 million total, including $13.3 million
in guaranteed money.

Williamson caught 91 passes for 1,754 yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons with the Gamecocks, appearing in 34 games and starting 26. He really blossomed in 2004, averaging 19.4 yards per catch and scoring seven times. A very gifted athlete with great deep speed, Williamson is expected, in time, to help compensate for the loss of deep threat Randy Moss in the Vikings' offense. Williamson will also get a chance to return kicks.

James should get the opportunity to be a pass rusher in the
nickel defense, if not win the starting job at right end, but the
former Wisconsin start will have to show up soon for that to

-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer, and The Associated Press

Green Bay Packers: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers and expected to eventually emerge as the heir to Brett Favre's starting job, late Saturday night signed his first NFL contract with the team.

Financial details of the deal were not immediately available. The contract is believed to be for five years, however, and similar in structure to the one signed last year by Buffalo Bills first-round quarterback J.P. Losman. Upon signing the contract, Rodgers reported to training camp, where he had missed the first four practices.

Coach Mike Sherman said Rodgers' tardiness was not alarming and that the staff will work to quickly get the former University of California star up to speed.

"Everything we've done so far [in camp], he did in mini-camp," Sherman said. "The opportunity to go back and do it again, he missed that, but he's a bright kid."

In the weeks preceding the draft, Rodgers was a candidate to be the first overall choice in the lottery. But when the San Francisco 49ers opted to take Utah quarterback Alex Smith instead, Rodgers slid all the way to the 24th spot, where the Packers ended his precipitous plummet by quickly snatching him.

The drop in the first round cost Rodgers not only a chance to start immediately in the NFL but plenty of money as well. Smith signed a $49.5 million contract with the 49ers that included $24 million in guarantees. Rodgers' deal is likely to be worth $8 million-$8.5 million, given the slot in which he was selected. The contract was probably a tricky one to negotiate, since both sides were forced to consider future years, when Rodgers might supplant Favre in the lineup.

Rodgers, 21, will have to vie with veterans Craig Nall and J.T. O'Sullivan for the No. 2 job behind Favre this year. Rodgers was said to have been inconsistent in mini-camps.

In Rodgers' two seasons at California, he completed 424 of 665 passes for 5,469 yards, with 43 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. He transferred to California after one season at Butte (Cal.) Junior College.

-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer

Atlanta Falcons: Six days late and now having to quickly get back up to speed if he is to claim the starting job the Atlanta Falcons had reserved for him, first-round wide receiver Roddy White on Sunday morning reached agreement on a five-year contract.

The deal came at about 1:30 a.m., and after weeks of negotiations, and White immediately headed to training camp.

The base contract is worth about $7.3 million, with a maximum value in the $8 million range, and includes $4.75 million in guarantees.

The 27th player selected overall, White appeared in 45 games at Alabama-Birmingham, and started in all but two of them. The speedy wideout had 163 career receptions for 3,112 yards and 26 touchdowns. His 1,452 receiving yards in 2004 led the nation. Over the final two years of his career, White averaged a lofty 20.9 yards per catch and scored 21 touchdowns.

While they have not conceded it publicly, the Falcons projected White as a starter. It remains to be seen how his six-day absence from camp will affect those plans.

-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs on Sunday night reached agreement with first-round linebacker Derrick Johnson on a five-year contract, the financial details of which were not immediately available.

The former Texas standout was the 15th overall player chosen in the 2005 draft and he is expected to make an immediate impact on the revamped Chiefs defense. Johnson worked at times with the first unit during the team's mini-camp this spring and flashed the kind of athleticism that made him one of the college game's premier defenders with the Longhorns.

It is believed that Johnson will challenge for the starting job at weak-side linebacker.

In four college seasons, Johnson started in 40 of 50 appearances and registered 458 tackles, including 65 tackles for losses. He also had 10 ½ sacks, 39 quarterback pressures, 11 forced fumbles, five recoveries and 30 passes defensed. In 2004, he won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defender and the Butkus Award as the top linebacker.

-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks signed second-round
draft pick Lofa Tatupu on Sunday, leaving first-round selection
Chris Spencer as the team's only unsigned rookie.

Tatupu, a linebacker out of USC, joined the team for Sunday's
early workout. He didn't have time to study a playbook, relying on
his memory from minicamps as Seattle practiced in full pads on the
third day of camp.

"I just went off what I remembered," Tatupu said. "We didn't
have to do as many things [before] as we're doing now. I'll have
time to catch up. Right after this, I'll get right into that
playbook. No nap for me."

Tatupu said he spent the past week working out at a Seattle-area
gym with Spencer, a center from Mississippi. After Tatupu agreed to
contract terms, he even bummed a ride to the airport late Saturday
from his fellow draft pick.

"I told him, 'Why don't we go ahead and both sign?'" Tatupu
said. "But everybody has their own situation. I hope it works out
best for him."

In his most recent comments on the matter, coach Mike Holmgren
said Saturday the team was close to signing both rookies.

For his part, Tatupu expressed relief to move past the business
side of football and return to the field. He claimed he didn't know
why his signing was delayed, saying he relied on his agent to
handle it.

"It was very frustrating," Tatupu said. "You're not used to
it. In college, you're used to going to camp on time. There's no
such thing as not being there. Then you have to play it the way
you're told to."

The Seahawks also were waiting for running back Shaun Alexander
to show up. He remained home in the Seattle area after the birth of
his second child on Thursday but was expected to take part in his
first workout Monday.

-- The Associated Press

Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals agreed to terms
with second-round draft pick J.J. Arrington on Sunday, hours before
the team opened training camp.
The four-year deal with the running back from California left first-round
pick Antrel Rolle as the team's only unsigned draft pick.
Arrington has been listed as the starter at running back for the
Cardinals after summer workouts. As a senior, Arrington was the
only back in the country to top 2,000 yards, finishing with 2,018
on 289 carries. He scored 15 touchdowns.

-- The Associated Press