If you have been an NFL fan for a long time, you remember the days of long rookie holdouts because contract negotiations were tough. There was no rookie salary guideline and the top picks in the draft got millions and millions of dollars. That all changed with the new CBA in 2011, but it seems every year rookies are getting their contracts signed earlier and earlier.
The Arizona Cardinals inked three of their draft picks -- first round defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, fifth round safety Marqui Chirstian and fifth round offensive lineman Cole Toner. As draft pick contracts go, each signed a four year deal. As a first rounder, Nkemdiche's contract also holds a team fifth-year team option.
This would be the earliest a Cardinals first draft pick has ever signed under the new CBA.
In 2013, first round pick Jonathan Cooper didn't sign until the first day of training camp.
In 2014, Deone Bucannon signed on June 5.
In 2015, D.J. Humphries inked his deal June 1.
Nkemdiche signed his on May 6. According to Mike Jurecki, his deal will be four years, $8.6 million with a $4.4 million signing bonus.
With Nkemdiche in the fold, it won't be long until the entire draft class is under contract.