Buffalo Bills: Draftees are Signing Faster Than Ever


May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Sammy Watkins (Clemson) poses for a photo after being selected as the number four overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

We are a week removed from the start of the NFL Draft and so far there have been a number of NFL rookies that have signed with their drafting teams. The highest so far to sign is 5th overall pick, Khalil Mack. Mack has agreed to terms with the Oakland Raiders. There has seemed to be a lot more players signing their contracts and within such a short time removed from the draft.

As for the Bills, they have signed three of their draftees from this past weekend. So far the Bills have signed, CB Ross Cockrell, LB Randell Johnson, and OT Seantrel Henderson.

If there seems to be a quickness, its because there is.  The reason that there seems to be quickness to the signings is because the NFL is on a freeze for signing bonuses.  The rookies are not able to get a higher signing bonus than the player that was drafted in their position in last draft.  The freeze is in effect because the players borrowed against the future rookie pools coming out of the locked out year.  So for Sammy Watkins, he would be looking at what Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles, got which would be in the market of about 12.6M for a signing bonus.  This is all happening even with an 8% increase in the salary cap for this year.

Here is the chart of projected salaries for the top ten draftees.  The only real change can be the base salary for the player and what their guaranteed money is going to be.

[table id=10 /]

Joel Corry, of CBSSports.com, breaks this down completely.

If your not sure as to how the rookie pool works, Forbes.com breaks it down as well.

"Compensation for 2014 NFL rookies is based on two different factors: the league’s Salary Cap and its Rookie Compensation Pool. The NFL’s salary cap (based on the terms negotiated during the 2011 collective bargaining agreement) is expected to be approximately $133 million in 2014. The second, more significant factor, is the Rookie Compensation Pool which puts limitations on the total amount teams can spend on a rookies’ first year salary and the total 4-year contract.This year’s league-wide pool is expected to be approximately $955 million (up from $896.45 Million last year) and is split amongst all 32 NFL clubs in proportion to their total number of draft picks and the position of those picks within each round. Teams who choose earlier and/or have stockpiled picks will thus have a larger piece of the pool to draw from. While next season’s salary cap will rise by more than $10 million over last years, the actual signing bonuses for rookies are expected to stay approximately the same."

Forbes.com also breaks down the entire first round as far as salaries goes.  They also predicted Khalil Macks salary to the dollar.  Check the link above for more information.