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Thursday, May 29, 2014
Breaking down four Bengals rookie deals

By Coley Harvey

CINCINNATI -- So far seven of the Cincinnati Bengals' eight draft picks have signed contracts.

We've obtained the financial terms for four of them, including fifth-round quarterback AJ McCarron.

Like the rest of his new teammates McCarron was signed earlier this month to a four-year rookie deal that will pay him exactly what he was slotted to receive. Long before the draft, rookie salaries were determined as part of a scale based on where the players were picked. Naturally, the higher a player was drafted, the more money he will receive across the next four years. The rookie wage slotting system was part of the latest collective bargaining agreement.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, for the next four seasons, McCarron will receive about $2.4 million. He also will make nearly $182,000 across the next four years from his signing bonus. Since it will be paid over the life of the contract, McCarron is looking at more than $45,000 each year from his signing bonus.

Once he gets signed, Bengals first-round selection Darqueze Dennard is looking at more than $1 million each year in signing bonus money. As the No. 24 overall pick, he's slotted to receive a $4.1 million signing bonus on top of about $8 million for his first four seasons in the league. He's the only draft pick the organization has not signed, although he has practiced this week as organized team activities begin.

Dennard said Tuesday that he wasn't worried about not getting paid right now. He has faith that something will get done soon.

"Money's not a big thing on my mind," Dennard said. "The only thing on my mind is helping the team out and winning championships."

Second-round pick Jeremy Hill, third-round pick Will Clarke and fourth-round pick Russell Bodine have signed, just like the rest of the team's fifth- through seventh-round picks. We haven't yet obtained the contracts for Hill, Clarke and Bodine, but they are also expected to receive their previously slotted salaries.

As for the remainder of the rookie class, sixth-round linebacker Marquis Flowers signed a four-year deal that will pay him $439,670 in 2014. By the end of the deal in 2017, his yearly compensation will increase to just more than $709,000.

Seventh-round receiver James Wright will make $12,456 in signing bonus money each year, while seeing his cap value increase from $432,456 in 2014 to $702,456 in 2017. As the 252nd overall pick in the draft, seventh-round cornerback Lavelle Westbrooks will make nearly $2.3 million the next four years. He'll start by making $431,474 in 2014.

The four players will average the following each year: McCarron ($600,413), Flowers ($574,670), Wright ($567,456), Westbrooks ($566,474).

Here is a more detailed breakdown of what each player will be making between now and the expiration of their contracts in 2017: