Middleton and Walker Contract Details

Adam Caplan of Scout.com has the details of the four-year contracts signed by Atlanta Falcons fifth round cornerback William Middleton and seventh round defensive tackle Vance Walker.

William Middleton and Vance Walker each signed standard four-year contracts, with base salaries of:

2009: $310,000
2010: $395,000
2011: $480,000
2012: $565,000

Adam Caplan of Scout.com reports that Middleton received a signing bonus of $206,900, while Walker signed for $66,730.

Middleton's signing bonus is similar to what Minnesota Vikings quarterback John David Booty, last year's second pick of the 5th round,signed for. It should be pointed out that even in later rounds, quarterbacks tend to be paid more than players at other positions.

Walker's signing bonus is a 2.7% increase over the signing bonus the first pick of 2008's seventh round received.

Like most mid-to-late round signings, Middleton and Walker will have minimal impact on Atlanta's salary cap. Middleton's 2009 cap number is $361,725, while Walker's 2009 cap number is $326,683.

Since both players fall outside the "Rule of 51", where only the Top 51 cap numbers count towards the team's salary cap during the off-season, only the first-year signing bonus proration is currently applied to Atlanta's salary cap. This means that, until more highly-paid veterans are peeled from the roster, Middleton ($51,725) and Walker ($16,683) count for a combined figure of $68,408 against the Falcons' salary cap.

Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for FalconInsider.com, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com) and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.
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