Under the rules of the new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, league rookies will new be signed according to the guidelines set forth by the rookie wage system. Total money and guaranteed money will be much smaller sums than in years past, and it's freeing up dollars for teams to spend elsewhere.
Because of said system, it's likely not as important as it has been in recent years to keep track of which rookies drafted near your team's first-round pick have already signed. We're going to mention it this morning anyway, because the Buffalo Bills still have not signed No. 3 overall pick Marcell Dareus, but the Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms with their No. 4 overall pick, wide receiver A.J. Green. It's a four-year, $19.68 million deal with a $12.81 million signing bonus.
ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news very early Thursday morning (the dude probably could use a little shut-eye). Financial parameters of the deal were not publicly disclosed. However, considering the new rookie rules are not a scale, but a system - leaving room for negotiation within those guidelines - it's likely that Green's financial terms will have an effect on the Bills' negotiations with Dareus. Stay tuned - Bills GM Buddy Nix has said he'd like to get all of these guys under contract by the time players report to training camp tomorrow.