Gone are the days when signing a first-round draft pick was difficult. We’re now in a new era, with an NFL rookie wage scale mandating payments for each player based on where they were selected.
For example: No. 4 overall pick, Alabama receiver Amari Cooper, signed a four-year contract on Thursday. It contains a fifth-year option.
The pact was not a difficult deal to reach. Cooper signed his contract just moments after entering the team’s Alameda facility on Thursday, before participating in the Raiders rookie minicamp.
Exact terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, but his contract should be worth an estimated $22.6 million over the course of four seasons. The deal includes a $14.7 million signing bonus. The Raiders can enact an option for the fifth year, based on the highest 10 salaries within the draft class.
Signing a contract early allows Cooper to focus on football, which starts during a three-day rookie minicamp. That session begins on Friday.
It also begins a new chapter for Cooper, who was a star at Alabama. He had 228 receptions for 3,463 yards and 31 touchdowns in his three-year career. Cooper’s best season was his last, with 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 TDs. Cooper is widely viewed as the safest pick in the NFL draft, and he’s certainly welcome in Oakland, where the Raiders are in desperate need of support for second-year quarterback Derek Carr