With just a little over a month until the Dallas Cowboys will be packing their bags, and heading to sunny, but yet cooler, Oxnard, Ca., Jerry Jones and company are doing something they have never done in years past. They are getting all of their 2012 draft picks signed before the plane leaves the runway in Dallas.
In the past, they have waited until just before training camp began before signing players. That included a few of their top picks missing a day, and on a couple of occasions, a week of camp as the player’s agent and front office worked tirelessly until a fair deal could be made, leaving the player to play catch up, and learning his position on a faster pace.
As of June 11th, The Boys had already signed 3 of their late round picks to 4 year deals. Players WR Danny Coale ( 5th round pick ), TE James Hanna ( 6th round pick ), and LB Caleb McSurdy ( 7th round pick ) will make base salaries of $390,000 ( 2012 ), $480,000 ( 2013 ), $570,000 ( 2014 ) and $660,000 ( 2015 ) if they can play up to their standards, and not be released.
On June 13th, 3rd round selection, DE Tyrone Crawford was signed to a 4 year contract which was worth $2.675 million including a $575,252 signing bonus. His base salary will be $390,000 a season throughout the course of the contract.
The signings continued on June 14th, as 2nd 4th round pick SS Matt Johnson returned from Eastern Washington to Dallas to sign his 4 year contract worth $2.35 million along with a $300,584. His base salaries will be $390,000 ( 2012 ), $480,000 ( 2013 ), $570,000 ( 2014 ), and $660,000 ( 2015 ).
Johnson attended Dallas’ rookie mini-camp in May, but had to return to Eastern Washington to finish his senior year, which caused him to miss the majority of the Cowboys’ full mini-camp. However, he made the most of his first day on the field with his veteran Cowboys teammates and made it clear he’s not going to settle for a backup role.
It was good to see him,” Garrett said. “He had a good rookie mini-camp with us and then he hasn’t been with us the rest of the off-season. One of the things we were attracted to him about when we drafted him is he just seems like a heady football player, an instinctive football player. And just the short exposure we’ve had of him on the practice field, you can see that.” ~ Head Coach Jason Garrett referring to Matt Johnson
Finally on Friday morning ( June 15th ), 1st 4th round selection OLB Kyle Wilber was signed to a 4 year contract identical to Johnson’s in base salaries, the only difference is that Wilber ( drafted 113th overall ) received a $439,220 signing bonus, whereas Johnson ( drafted 135th overall ) received $300,584.
With the signings, that now only leaves first round pick Morris Claiborne left to sign. That contract has turned to be trickier than expected because of the “offset language” that is being discussed for some of the top 10 picks. The new CBA rules from last year have caused some teams and agents to review how these contracts are structured and that is why there has been a holdup.
Claiborne will have a bit of latitude since he was taken so high, but his contract will resemble the four-year, $16.2 million deal signed by Julio Jones, the sixth player taken in last year’s draft.