Earlier today, it was reported that the Cincinnati Bengals signed the first of their two first round draft picks in cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Really, we kind of saw this coming due to the recent contract signed by the player drafted in front of him in Quinton Coples at No.16 overall. We didn't have the contract details at the time, but we had a pretty good inkling as to what Kirkpatrick would be getting when we used last year's No.17 pick's contract and that of Coples.
Thanks to Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer, we now have the details of Kirkpatrick's contract.
The Bengals have the first of their two first-round picks under contract, signing cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to a four-year deal worth $8.6 million with $7.84 million of that fully guaranteed.
Thanks to the rookie wage scale that was agreed upon in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement last year, contract holdouts by rookies are all but a part of the past. This wage scale really benefits the Bengals, as they have been burned by players holding out and subsequently hurting their rookie season and careers. Getting a player under contract in time for camp is a huge step and we should be seeing Kevin Zeitler following suit soon as well.
As Reedy also notes, Kirkpatrick's signing is the earliest that the Bengals have inked a first round draft pick since 2003 when the Bengals signed Carson Palmer to a contract before the Draft even took place. You can track all of the Bengals rookie signings by referring to our chart. Kirkpatrick is the sixth Bengals 2012 draftee to sign a contract.