MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings have already signed three of their 10 draft picks, in a process that has been reduced to little more than a formality by the collective bargaining agreement owners and players agreed to in 2011. The rookie contracts for current players are so simple -- and there is so little leeway -- that teams and players are finding less incentive than ever to drag the negotiation process on toward training camp.
In fact, most of the NFC North is moving just as fast as the Vikings, if not faster. The Chicago Bears became the first team to sign all of their draft picks last week, and the Detroit Lions already have signed five of their eight picks. The Green Bay Packers have signed four of their nine picks.
There's no drama in this process now, not when the days of big contracts for rookies are gone. The Vikings have about $7.3 million in their NFL-allocated rookie pool to sign draft picks, and because teams only count their top 51 contracts against the cap in the offseason, the Vikings will need just more than $3.1 million in cap space to get their class of 2014 signed, according to the contract tracking site Over the Cap.
Here is a quick look at the allocated signing bonuses for the Vikings' 10 picks, according to ESPN Stats and Information and Over the Cap. Fifth-rounder David Yankey, sixth-rounder Kendall James and seventh-rounder Jabari Price are already signed, and Yankey's and Price's deals are in line with the allocations for their spots. The players that are actually signed are in bold:
Fifth round: G David Yankey, 145th overall pick ($206,900 signing bonus, $2,426,900 total package).
Sixth round: S Antone Exum, 182nd overall pick ($115,788 signing bonus, $2,335,788 total package); CB Kendall James, 184th overall pick ($113,452 signing bonus, $2,333,452 total package).
Seventh round: DT Shamar Stephen, 220th overall pick ($65,148 signing bonus, $2,285,148 total package); LB Brandon Watts, 223rd overall pick, ($62,448 signing bonus, $2,282,448 total package); CB Jabari Price, 225th overall pick ($61,820 signing bonus, $2,281,820 total package).