Saints Sign 3 Draft Picks, Release 3 Veterans
New Orleans Saints 1st round pick Sheldon Rankins, second round pick Michael Thomas and seventh round pick Daniel Lasco are officially members of the Black & Gold after agreeing to terms today.
Rankins is set to make about $12.8 million if he plays out the life of the contract, while Thomas can earn a little over $5 million.
All rookie contracts are 4 year deals. Teams have the option to pick up 5th year team options on first round picks after the players third season. New Orleans recently exercised this right with 2013 first round pick Kenny Vaccaro.
Rookies don't have much negotiating power since the NFL implemented a rookie wage scale in 2011, cutting the high costs for highly drafted players.
For example, in 2010, number one overall draft pick Sam Bradford signed a 6 year deal worth $78 million with the St. Louis Rams. In 2011, the first year of the built in rookie wage scale, first overall pick Cam Newton signed for 4 years at $22 million.
To make room for the three rookies, New Orleans released veteran running back Vick Ballard, defensive end Phillip Hunt and fullback Toben Opurum.