By John Boyle Herald Writer
SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks made Bruce Irvin a first-round pick because of his ability to quickly get to opposing quarterbacks. Well as it turns out, the defensive end is also pretty quick to negotiate a contract.
Irvin, the No. 15 pick in this year’s NFL draft, has agreed to terms on a contract with the Seahawks, making him the first of this year’s first-round picks to do so. The Seahawks also announced that they have agreed to terms with seven other players, meaning only two of their 10 picks are unsigned.
That Irvin is the first first-rounder to sign is somewhat noteworthy, but striking a deal quickly is far less unexpected now than it would have been prior to the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement last summer. One of the many changes under the new CBA was the introduction of a rookie wage scale, under which a draft pick’s contract is more or less determined by where he is taken in the draft.
That means players and their agents no longer have much to haggle over with teams when it comes to rookie contracts. That is a drastic change from recent years when top picks would frequently report late to training camp while contracts were negotiated.
Irvin will make $9.34 million over the next four seasons and receive a signing bonus of more than $5 million according to ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt, a former NFL executive. By comparison, Jason Pierre-Paul, the No. 15 pick in 2010, received $20 million over five years with more than $11 million in guaranteed money under the league’s old CBA.
In addition to Irvin, the Seahawks also agree to terms with second-round pick Bobby Wagner, who projects to be the team’s starting middle linebacker; quarterback Russell Wilson (third round); linebacker Korey Toomer (fifth round); cornerback Jeremy Lane and safety Winston Guy (sixth round); and guard J.R. Sweezy and defensive end Greg Scruggs (seventh round).
The only two picks who remain unsigned are fourth-rounders Robert Turbin, a running back from Utah State, and defensive tackle Jaye Howard from Florida.
The Seahawks have their first minicamp with their new draft class beginning Friday.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.