It took a few weeks, but the Green Bay Packers finally have their entire 2019 NFL Draft class under contract. Seven of the team’s eight draft picks signed their deals shortly after the draft, several doing so before the start of rookie minicamp. However, one player remained unsigned until Monday: tight end and third-round pick Jace Sternberger.
However, Sternberger put pen to paper on Monday, the eve of the team’s mandatory minicamp. He posted photos of him signing the deal on his Twitter feed:
The current collective bargaining agreement has an oddity in the rookie wage scale; namely that third-round picks have a bit more negotiating room than players drafted at any other round of the draft. The Packers’ have typically come to terms with their third-round picks last in the past few years, and most of those contracts include modest workout bonuses, which have not been included in contracts for any of the team’s other draft picks.
This was the case for Oren Burks last year, as his contract includes $25,000 workout bonuses in each of the the final three years of his deal. 2017 third-round pick Montravius Adams has $15,000 in workout bonuses annually, while Kyler Fackrell (2016) has $15,500.
As for the total amount of Sternberger’s deal, he is likely to receive a signing bonus worth just over $1 million. That would push his 2019 salary cap hit to just shy of $750,000, and the total amount of the four-year contract is projected to be just north of $3.5 million. (Numbers from Overthecap.com.)
The Packers entered the day with an estimated $8.3 million in salary cap space. This move only adds about $180,000 to the team’s Top 51 cap number, keeping them a bit over $8 million for the time being.
Green Bay’s minicamp is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.