Shirley Signs As Draft Picks Come Into Fold

The Bengals have gotten off to quick start – for them – when it comes to getting their draft picks signed.

Fifth-round pick defensive tackle Jason Shirley is the only one officially in the fold but tight end Matt Sherry and wide receiver Mario Urrutia have also agreed to terms on four-year deals, according to's Adam Caplan. That leaves the Bengals with seven more picks to sign before the players are due to report to Georgetown College for the opening of training camp on July 27.

The Bengals have made it an almost annual occurrence when it comes to their draft choices of announcing signings in the days immediately preceding the opening of camp. Not this year.

The club has announced Shirley and his contract, while all that is left for Sherry and Urrutia is for the signatures to dry and the paperwork to be filed with the NFL office in New York. Sherry's deal included a signing bonus of $40,000, while Urrutia got $39,000 to sign.

All of the deals come with minimum salaries of $295,000 this season, $385,000 next year, $470,000 in 2010 and $555,000 in 2011.

There is hope from the Bengals that safety Corey Lynch and defensive end Angelo Craig will have their deals finalized by the end of this week. Lynch was a sixth-round pick while Craig was taken ahead of Urrutia in the seventh round.

The NFL allotted the Bengals a rookie salary pool of $5,555,750 for their 10 picks, the majority of which will go to first-round pick Keith Rivers. The linebacker was the ninth overall choice in the draft. Only three players selected in the first round have signed with their respective teams thus far.

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