With rookie organized team activities (OTA’s) underway, the Green Bay Packers have begun signing this year’s draft picks. Earlier today and per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, RB Johnathan Franklin, OL, J.C. Tretter, LB Sam Barrington and LB Nate Palmer had all signed their mandatory four year deals. OL David Bakhtiari reportedly has agreed to a deal with the team and will sign his contract later today.
This afternoon, ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde is reporting, via Twitter, that the only unsigned draftees are first rounder, DE Datone Jones and second round pick, RB Eddie Lacy.
Per the new league CBA, all rookies, with the exception of first rounders, must sign a four year rookie contract. There is also a rookie salary cap that was implemented that has taken some of the labor and intrigue out of teams getting their rookies signed. As a result, these deals are getting done in quick succession.
The team is hoping to sign most, if not all, of their rookies as quickly as possible. Players who are unsigned are still permitted to take part in team practices, but have to sign a waiver in the event that they are injured while at the team facilities.
Only Franklin’s deal had a reported value and that was at around $2.5 million. There were some questions about whether Franklin would be able to participate in rookie OTA’s due to an NFL rule that states that draftees are not permitted to practice with their new team until their school’s graduation has passed. Franklin, however, finished his undergraduate degree in June, 2012 and so he is fully eligible for all team activities.