GREEN BAY – Absent a first-round draft selection, the Green Bay Packers shouldn't have trouble getting all their picks signed before training camp begins.
After announcing the signing of cornerback Kevin King, the Packers' first selection and first pick in the second round, they are well on their way to getting that done.
King, the 33rd overall pick out of Washington, became the sixth of the Packers’ 10 draft picks to sign. Previously, the Packers announced the signing of wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey and running back Aaron Jones (both fifth-round selections), guard Kofi Amichia (sixth round) and their two seventh-round picks, running back Devante Mays and wide receiver Malachi Dupre.
The draft picks who are not signed are safety Josh Jones (second round), defensive lineman Montravius Adams (third round) and their two fourth-round picks, linebacker Vince Biegel and running back Jamal Williams.
Last year, the Packers didn’t sign their first-round pick, defensive lineman Kenny Clark, until June 17.
As of Thursday night, only a half dozen second-round picks had signed contracts. Until King signed, Carolina wide receiver Curtis Samuel was the highest second-round selection (No. 40 overall) to sign a deal.
Under the rookie salary pool, King's salary is almost pre-determined. The contract length has to be four years and the league prescribes a salary-cap number based on each position in the draft, although the team does not have to adhere to it.
Tennessee defensive end Kevin Dodd was the 33rd selection last year and received a four-year, $6.55 million deal that included $4.77 million in guarantees. King should receive a 9-10 percent increase over that deal based on other increases in the round this year.
After taking this week off, King and the rest of the Packers’ rookies will return and join the veterans for the final week of Phase Two of the off-season conditioning schedule. Starting May 22, the team will begin a four-week stretch that will consist of 10 organized team activities (OTAs) and a three-day minicamp.
All of the draft picks were able to take part in the rookie orientation last week and will be able to take part in the offseason program even if they are not signed to contracts. Those who are not under contract sign injury protection agreements that guarantee they will be fairly compensated if they suffer a serious injury.
The rookie orientation gave draft picks such as King a chance to bond with his fellow first-year players before being thrown into a locker room full of 90 players. King, with his first NFL contract done and a taste of what he'll be facing when he joins the veterans, only has to worry about playing football now.
“I think this is good,” King said of the rookie gathering. “I’ll have a long time with those guys. Kind of getting the rookies in here and getting everybody acclimated, I think it’s good to kind of get our feet wet with each other.
“We’re all great players on our own, so we’re all coming into this league as well. We’re all NFL players. The talent is there. Just going through it together I think is good.”
When the rookies come back, the pace will be fast and they will be expected to keep up with the veterans. But coach Mike McCarthy typically installs the offense and defense during the final four weeks of the offseason program and then re-installs at the start of training camp.
For the rookies, it’s a chance to get back to football after spending the past six months working on improving their combine testing numbers.
“Going through all this draft process, it’s long,” King said. “It’s definitely a blessing being able to go through it, but it’s long and it’s tough. I’m glad I went through it, I’m glad I was able to go through it but I’m glad that it’s done. I’m ready to work. I’m ready to put my all into this.”