Well, that didn’t take long.
The Miami Dolphins have announced they have signed their first round draft pick, Laremy Tunsil on Friday. Chris Wesseling of NFL.com is reporting as is the case with all first-round picks, the deal comes with a team option in the fifth year.
The Dolphins drafted the left tackle with the 13th pick in the player from Ole Miss after he dropped several spots amid controversy and rumors that filled last Thursday night’s first round.
Terms of the contract were not released but last year’s 13th pick, Saints tackle Andrus Peat, signed a four-year, fully guaranteed $11.39 million contract.
Although Tunsil was widely viewed as the best tackle prospect available, he’s expected to open his NFL career as a guard. The Dolphins have Branden Albert, veteran Jermon Bushrod and former first-round pick Ja’Wuan James at tackle, whereas guard has been a relentless sieve for the past half-decade.
Tunsil was regarded as the top overall player on many mock drafts and team draft boards. While there may still be some concern over his off-field issues that have now placed his former college under a microscope, Tunsil’s ability to play on the next level has never been in question.
Tunsil is not the only first round pick to sign their rookie deals this week.
The San Francisco 49ers have come to terms with Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. The New York Giants have announced they have signed their first round draft pick, Eli Apple, as well. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also come to terms with cornerback Vernon Hargreaves out of Florida.
With a rookie salary cap in place, it is a good bet players will ink deals soon and report to camp without the long and dreaded holdouts which plagued teams before the salary cap was instituted in 2011. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford was the last first overall selection who did not fall under salary guidelines established by the league.
AMENDOLA TO STAY WITH PATS
Wide receiver Danny Amendola has agreed to take a pay cut in order to remain with the New England Patriots.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the wideout has agreed to a restructured, two-year deal that will pay him $7.35 million with another $750,000 available in bonuses and incentives, per a source informed of the deal. Marc Sessler had the story on NFL.com.
Amendola also took a pay cut last season, but outperformed his $1.5 million deal for 2015 with 648 yards and three touchdowns off 65 catches. Had he refused the price-tag chop, Amendola was certain to be released.
Amendola originally signed a deal with New England in 2013, a five-year contract for $28.5 million, with $10 million of that money guaranteed.
PAYING IT FORWARD
In the good news of the day, Erica Wilson, mother of Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns, is putting together a black-tie event with 88 single mothers.
The number 88 is representative of Hurns No. 88 he wears with the Jaguars.
According to my friend Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com, the mother of Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns had a tough time raising two children by herself in Miami and wanted to find a way to help others in the same situation. That became, beginning with that night two months ago, Stepping into 88 Blessings, which will be held June 4 at the Salem Centre in Jacksonville.
It’s a black-tie event open to the public that will feature former and current Jaguars players (including Hurns, who wears No. 88), a red-carpet arrival, a motivational speaker, gifts, and 88 single moms.
“We just want to really honor these ladies, make them feel like it’s their night,” Wilson said. “It’s all about them. As single parents we don’t get that. We don’t get the chance to go out and let our hair down and just have a good time.”