With the escalating rookie salaries, everyone seems to be keeping a closer eye on the rookie pool this year. The rookie pool is basically a cap within the overall salary cap, meaning that the combined first-year cap numbers of the drafted rookies cannot exceed $3.919 million, according to ESPN. Teams rarely have problems staying under the pool but it is one of the reasons that later round picks sign earlier. If the first couple of picks sign early and absorb all of the pool money, then a team might not have the ability to sign later picks.
Kent Somers of azcentral.com also looks at the contracts of last years' draft picks who were selected at the same slot as this years' Cardinals picks. While there are more variables than just last year's price, it is an interesting comparison. Some things to remember is that premium positions will get paid more than non-premium positions. Such as, expect DRC's contract to be well over the simple inflation adjusted contract of last years' Justin Harrell. That's the only one that should be a significant difference although I'd expect Early Doucet's contract and Brandon Keith's contract to be higher than the expected 5-8% increase from last year.
First round -- Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, No. 16
Last year -
defensive lineman Justin Harrell. Six years (last year is voidable), $14.5 million, $8.1 million guaranteed. This deal is structured a bit differently. Harrell received no signing bonus, but he did receive a roster bonus of about $1 million, and a $5.3 million option bonus this spring. Green Bay
Second round -- Defensive end Calais Campbell, No. 50.
Last year -- Titans running back Chris Henry. Four years, $2.90 million, $1.23 million signing bonus.
Third round -- Receiver Early Doucet, No. 81.
Last year -- Giants defensive tackle Jay Alford. Four years, $2.4 million, $718,000 signing bonus.
Fourth round -- Defensive end Kenny Iwebema, No. 116.
Last year -- Giants LB Zak DeOssie. Four years, $2.1 million, $442,500 signing bonus.
Fifth round -- Running back Tim Hightower, No. 149.
Last year --
guard Uche Nwaneri. Four years, $1.84 million, $175,600 signing bonus. Jacksonville
Sixth round -- OLB Chris Harrington, No. 185
Last year -- Falcons defensive tackle Trey Lewis. Four years, $1.76 million. $97,600 signing bonus
Seventh round -- OT Brandon Keith, No. 225.
Last year --
punter Brandon Fields. Four years, $1.72 million, $54,000 signing bonus. Miami