Luke Joeckel became the highest draft pick to sign a contract in 2013 yesterday when the league approved his deal. Joeckel’s contract is worth $21,201,598 and he received a signing bonus worth $13,799,344. The contract is fully guaranteed with no offsets making the Miami Dolphins job that much harder when they negotiate a contract with the number 3 pick Dion Jordan. Last year the Jaguars won a contract battle with troubled WR Justin Blackmon, but saw no need to engage in the same fight with a player that did not have a bad track record coming out of college.
Joeckel becomes the third top 10 pick to sign this year, joining Ziggy Ansah of the Lions and Tavon Austin of the Rams. Most top picks should sign in the next few weeks though the Kansas City Chiefs may need to make an additional roster move or wait for final accrual of workout bonus money before signing number 1 pick Eric Fisher. The Chiefs only have $3.56 million in cap space and Fisher will count for slightly over $4 million against the cap when signed. Due to the Top 51 rule the Chiefs would have enough room to fit him but it would leave them dangerously close to the salary cap limit, around $7,500 in cap space.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.