The Vikings are getting ready to get to work in Mankato, but still have one big piece of the puzzle to solve – or make that three.
The Vikings have yet to sign any of their three first-round draft picks – DT Sharrif Floyd, CB Xavier Rhodes and WR Cordarrelle Patterson. As of Tuesday morning, 14 first-round picks remained unsigned, including all three of the Vikings picks. As is typically the case, while the basic framework on contract totals are slotted and can fairly accurately be determined, the contract signing of first-round rookies is typically done in domino fashion. If the player in front and behind a specific draft slot are both signed, the player in the middle doesn't usually stay unsigned for long.
The biggest concentration of consecutive unsigned picks comes right where the Vikings sit. From picks Nos. 22 to 29, which include all three Vikings picks, only one of them has signed – Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins. Of the players in that group, four of them are defensive linemen – the highest of them being Floyd. Two of them are cornerbacks, including Atlanta's Desmond Trufant at No. 22 and Rhodes at No. 25. At No. 29, Patterson is two picks behind Hopkins and his agent will likely be seeking similar money.
The Vikings have a long history of getting rookie deals done at the 11th hour. While they often push the signing to the last minute – occasionally even going a day or two into training camp – there hasn't been a long first-round rookie holdout since Bryant McKinnie more than a decade ago. But the trend in signings has changed over the last few years.
Paying rookies had always been something that owners delayed getting done. It wasn't unusual for picks to sign in ascending order from the late-round picks to the first-round picks. Now many rookies are getting signed earlier.
As the Vikings organization makes its migration to Mankato for the start of training camp, they do so without ink being put to paper on the rookie contracts of their trio of first-round draft choices. Don't expect that to last much longer. Much as they did when the team conducted a press conference with all three of their young stars at Winter Park, don't be surprised if the Vikings announce the signing of all three players simultaneously. While other teams may hold some impact on getting the players signed – agents try to get every dollar they can from a rookie contract – there isn't a lot of panic about the contracts getting done soon. The Big Three will get signed and, as things stand, all are expected to be ready to go later this week.
The only question is when will the three players sign? Many expect the wait won't be for long.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Vikings have three rookies left to sign
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