Count the New England Patriots as one franchise wholeheartedly behind the new rookie wage scale. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports that Chandler Jones became the fifth draft pick to agree to terms with the franchise, leaving only two unsigned.
Specific terms of the deal have not yet been reported, but it's not impossible to get an idea of what the deal looks like. Last year's 21st overall selection, Phil Taylor, held out four days to nab a four-year, $8.1 million, fully guaranteed deal.
The Chicago Bears recently came to terms with 19th overall pick Shea McClellin. The two sides agreed on a four-year pact worth $8,263,398. The deal is almost fully insured with $7,522,171 in guarantees, including a $4,449,744 signing bonus along with all four years of base salaries.
So there's definitely a framework out there for Jones' deal, and the Patriots look to be getting a stud pass-rushing prospect in his early twenties for a little over $2 million a year. I think I'll go ahead and count myself as a proponent of the rookie wage scale, too.
The pace of signings is impressive and important. Compared to the 2011 class, which suffered through the shortened offseason, the 2012 draftees will have quite a head start by agreeing to terms so quickly.
The only remaining picks left to sign are Dont'a Hightower, taken 25th overall, and Jake Bequette, who was selected with the 90th overall pick.
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