The Detroit Lions’ 2013 rookie minicamp gets underway this afternoon and all nine members of the Lions’ draft class will take the field having already signed their first NFL contract.
League rules permit draft picks to participate even if they haven’t signed a contract but the slotting system under the collective bargaining agreement gives no reason to prolong negotiations. In fact, there is often very little to negotiate at all. With everyone in town, it just makes sense to get the deals done. That makes for one less thing to deal with later and gets that bonus check in the players’ hands (and hopefully some of it in the bank).
Ziggy Ansah is just the second first round pick to sign and the Lions become the first team to reach agreements with their entire draft class. Ansah is the highest draft pick to date to reach an agreement to date – another big difference from the previous system where many of the top picks signed as the numbers trickled down from the top.
Ansah, Larry Warford and Sam Martin will get their first chance to impress the Lions coaching staff as they begin their push for starting jobs. Darius Slay will also be a candidate to start but he will not participate in minicamp after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair his torn meniscus.