It is beginning to look like the players drafted by the Baltimore Ravens want to sign and become part of this team so badly that they are more than willing to sign contracts for less money with smaller signing bonuses than other picks drafted later than them. Now with the understanding that I don't get to see the entire contract broken down to guaranteed money and incentive clauses, it may not be exactly as it appears on paper. However, take a look at what the players that have signed so far by the Ravens from the 2009 NFL Draft accepted as compared to those players drafted either just before or after them.
When draft picks are signed by their teams, there is a pecking order to put them in and they are basically "slotted" into contract amounts that coincide with their position in line based on where they were drafted. Therefore, the player drafted 50th overall should make less than the one drafted 49th but more than the guy drafted 51st. That doesn't appear to be the case with the players that have already signed with the Ravens. Check out these draft picks that have signed with other teams in comparison to the Ravens' picks that were drafted either before or after them:
87. Patrick Turner, WR - USC (Miami): 4 years, $2.3 million, $714,000 SB (Signing Bonus)
88. Lardarius Webb, CB - Nicholls State (Baltimore): 3 years, $1.714 million, $529,500 SB
89. Jared Cook, TE - South Carolina (Tennessee): 4 years, $2.44 million, $700,000 SB
137. Jason Phillips, LB - TCU (Baltimore): 3 years, $1.34 miliion, $156,050 SB
138. William Middleton, CB - Furman (Atlanta): 4 years, $1.956 million, $206,900 SB
148. Brandon Hughs, CB - Oregon State (San Diego): 4 years, $1.936 million, $186,650 SB
149. Davon Drew, TE - East Carolina (Baltimore): 3 years, $1.3245 million, $139,250 SB
151. Rhett Bomar, QB - Sam Houston State (NYG): 4 years, $1.935 million, $185,000 SB
184. Bear Pascoe, TE - Fresno State (San Francisco): 4 years, $1.856, $106,000 SB
185. Cedric Peerman, RB - Virginia (Baltimore): 3 years, $1.263 million, $78,000 SB
186. Robert Henson, LB - TCU (Washington): 4 years, $1.852 million, $102,500 SB
Click here to see the site I used and the rest of the signings listed so far. While I realize that these may not be exactly correct, as they are from another blog site that I cannot vouch for (www.BackseatFan.com), I've verified the ones I could by cross referencing them with other sites' reported signing numbers and they seem pretty close if not correct. It's intersting to see the discrepancies between what players signed for with the Ravens compared to other players and teams. Perhaps it is the great negotiating abilities of the "Wizards" at The Castle, or maybe the draftees desire to play for this excellent franchise outweighs their need to maximize their contracts an they just want to get in camp. Either way, their making more money than they could ever expect and now have the chance to prove their worth as players and ultimately the bigger payday will follow. I can't wait to see that amounts and comparisons when the Ravens #1 draft pick, Michael Oher and #2 selection, Paul Kruger, end up signing, hopefully before Training Camp starts in just over a week from today.
Post Publish Note: I'm trying to find out how this compares to prior year's signings (2008?) but haven't been able to come up with a site that lists them with enough detail to compare. Any help out there? Thanks.