It's the time of the NFL offseason where we focus on contract negotiations. Up until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was initiated last season, this was the time of year that Bengals fans dreaded. More often than not, many talented Bengals draftees were at the mercy of strict negotiations by the Brown family. Luckily, with the new CBA, a rookie wage scale is in place, rendering rookie holdouts nearly non-existent.
Per multiple sources, the Seattle Seahawks have gotten the first of 32 first round contracts signed today, as they have inked the fifteenth overall selection, Bruce Irvin. Andrew Brandt of The National Football Post claims that it is a four-year deal:
First signing in 1st round of NFL Draft: 15th pick Bruce Irvin gets $9.34M fully guaranteed over 4 yrs, w/over $5M signing bonus.
So, why is this significant? Well, first because it marks a kickoff, of sorts, to the flurry of contracts that are likely to be signed soon. But, more importantly for the Bengals, it gives a barometer with which to sign their No. 17 selection Dre Kirkpatrick. Given that the Bengals cornerback was drafted two spots behind Irvin, we could see him signing his contract soon.
On Sunday, Jason Garrison broke down the predictions for both Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler's possible contracts, citing last year's draftees contracts who were drafted at the same spot. Between Garrison's breakdown and the information on Irvin's new contract, we should be getting a clearer picture as to what Kirkpatrick will be owed.