Just a few days before the start of training camp, the Green Bay Packers have finally wrapped up the contract with the team’s last unsigned draft pick. Second-round pick Christian Watson has signed his rookie deal, as first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates.
With Watson’s deal done, he can now focus entirely on football when he reports for camp this week. Rookies are set to show up on Saturday, with veterans arriving early next week in time for the first practice on Wednesday, July 27th.
Watson was part of a large group of draftees in the first half of the second round who waited to finalize the details of their contracts. Indications pointed to the Houston Texans’ deal with safety Jalen Pitre (the 37th overall pick) as being part of the hangup, as he was the only player signed between picks 33 and 50 for much of the summer.
Of course, Watson’s deal is for four years only. Had the Packers traded up with the Minnesota Vikings for the 32nd overall pick instead of the 34th, they would have preserved a team option for a fifth year by virtue of the pick’s status in the first round. Instead, the Vikings reportedly chose to use that pick and trade at 34 instead, thus keeping their own ability to option safety Lewis Cine rather than allowing the Packers the opportunity to do so for Watson.
According to Overthecap.com, the typical draft slot contract for Watson at 34 would have a signing bonus of just under $4.6 million for a total value of $10.19 million. Assuming the deal falls in line with the rookie pool estimate, he should have a salary cap number of about $1.85 million this season.