What contract can rookies expect?

The NFL draft is in the books, and the next step is to get rookies signed with their new teams. The new rookie wage scale has helped teams sign players much easier. The drama and potential for holdouts have been taken away now that teams, players and agents already know what kind of contract to expect based on their projected slot.

Here is a quick look at what players made last year, and what the latest AFC East rookies can expect:

No. 8 pick: QB Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

2011 No. 8 pick: QB Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans (four years, $12.58 million)

No. 10 pick: CB Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills

2011 No. 10 pick: QB Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars (four years, $12 million)

No. 16 pick: DE Quinton Coples, New York Jets

2011 No. 16 pick: DE Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Redskins (four years, $8.72 million)

No. 21 pick: DE Chandler Jones, New England Patriots

2011 No. 21 pick: DT Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns (four years, $8.1 million)

No. 25 pick: LB Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots

2011 No. 25 pick: OT James Carpenter, Seattle Seahawks (four years, $7.641 million)

These contracts are absolute bargains for teams. That is why so many were trading into the top 10 at an unprecedented rate.

Even Miami's pick at No. 8 will be cheap compared to what quarterbacks in the draft usually make. Tannehill will average about $3-$4 million per year on his rookie contract? That’s not much risk for the Dolphins. Other AFC East teams will be risking even less thanks to the rookie wage scale.