Wide receiver Sidney Rice, the Vikings' second-round pick, and running back Adrian Peterson, their first-round draft choice, remained unsigned. But the Vikings are far from alone in the quandary of trying to sign high-round draft choices before training camp opens.
In the world of signing draft choices, the domino effect is very much in play, but so far not many of the players surrounding the draft slots of Rice and especially Peterson have been signed either.
The biggest breakthrough in the first round so far is that defensive end Jamaal Anderson, the eighth pick overall, signed a five-year deal with $15.36 million in guaranteed money, according to profootballtalk.com, a 13.4-percent increase over the eight pick last year. According to PFT, the deal could be worth as much as $31 million with "easily attainable" escalators.
Incentives could be a key part of a deal with Peterson, the seventh overall selection, as a running back can have more quantifiable statistics to include in a contract as incentives. So far, the Vikings haven't put workout clauses in their rookie contracts, an increasing practice being used more often by other teams.
As of Thursday morning, Anderson was the only player selected within two slots of Peterson that has agreed to contract terms. According to the Arizona Republic, offensive tackle Levi Brown has agreed to the structure of a contract for the fifth overall pick, but financial terms remain a sticking point. So far, nothing significant has been reported on the contract talks between safety LaRon Landry, the sixth overall pick, and the Washington Redskins.
The ninth pick overall, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., is reportedly close to agreeing to a deal with the Miami Dolphins, but nothing has been announced yet, and there has been nothing noteworthy reported on contract talks between the 10th selection, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, and the Houston Texans.
As for Rice and the surrounding second-round selections, a little more progress has been made there. Rice was the 44th selection in the draft, and the Charlotte Observer reports that the Panthers and wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett, the 45th selection, could be closing in on a deal, as an offer has been made. Quarterback Drew Stanton, the 43rd selection in the draft, signed a four-year deal with the Detroit Lions, which should help speed up negotiations with the Vikings and Rice.
While the 41st and 42nd picks – cornerback Chris Houston and offensive tackle Tony Ugoh – are unsigned as of Thursday morning, the 46th selection, LB LaMarr Woodley signed a four-year deal with a $1,865,000 signing bonus, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The New York Jets also came to terms with their second-round draft choice, LB David Harris, the 47th selection of the draft. Terms of that deal were not disclosed.
So it would appear that a deal for Rice should be in the offing very soon, which has been reported often in recent days. Peterson, however, could be a stickier deal, as incentives and a lack of multiple signing around his No. 7 slot could keep him out of camp for a couple days.
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