With Jones Signed, Packers Have All Aboard
The Green Bay Packers and first round draft pick Datone Jones agreed to a four year contract on Wednesday. This was reported by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The deal is expected to be signed on Thursday and with that, the Packers now have all of their 2013 draft picks under contract and ready to participate in training camp.
The Packers’ first training camp practice is scheduled for Friday morning. Having all of their young players in attendance at camp is always a priority for the Packers, but none was a bigger priority than their first rounder. Jones is expected to get a long look on the defensive line and could push both Mike Neal and CJ Wilson for a starting end spot.
Under the terms of the latest collective bargaining agreement, teams are required to sign their draftees to four year contracts, with the exception of their first round pick. They can opt to add a fifth year to a first rounder’s deal. The Packers opted to stick with four years with Jones and the deal is reported to be worth a total of $7.7 million with approximately $6.3 million of that in guaranteed money. His signing bonus is reported at around $4 million.
With the signing coming just days before camp opens, some may have been nervous that a deal may not have been done on time. However, some of the pain of negotiating rookie contracts has been removed with the rookie salary cap that was put into place. This has helped teams avoid lengthy holdouts that had been more prevalent in the past.
Silverstein reminds us how it was not too long ago that we were all waiting for BJ Raji to sign his rookie contract nearly two weeks into the 2009 training camp. Another “holdout” that many of us may have forgotten was quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who missed a few days of training camp in 2005 while waiting to sign his deal with the team.
It has been a busy offseason and preseason for the Packers. The team gave contract extensions to Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Morgan Burnett and signed all 11 of their draft picks. Now that Jones is signed, the team can shift its focus from the conference room to the field and truly begin preparing for the 2013 season.——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason at: Jason Perone
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