Breaking down Cards’ rookie contracts

May, 21, 2014
May 21
Less than two weeks after the NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals have signed six of their seven draft picks. Arizona announced the signings of fourth-round choice Logan Thomas, fifth-round selection Ed Stinson and sixth-round pick Walt Powell on Wednesday. Details of the contracts for Thomas and Powell were not yet available as of Wednesday afternoon, per ESPN Stats & Information.

First-round pick Deone Bucannon remains unsigned.

A few observations from going through the rookie contracts:
  • The numbers aren’t staggering. None of the signing bonuses jump out, but that’s mainly because rookie salaries are slotted.
  • Kareem Martin, John Brown and Stinson all received $420,000 base salaries in their first season.
  • The Cardinals liked to increase salaries by $90,000 per year in many cases. Stinson’s annual base grows by $90,000 in each season, and it’s prevalent in other contracts as well.

Here is a breakdown of the Cardinals' rookie contracts available per ESPN Stats & Information.

Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame -- second round

The highest drafted rookie to sign thus far, Niklas signed a four-year deal worth $2.77 million with a $1.246 million signing bonus.

He’ll earn $420,000 in base salary in his rookie season, but his total take home will be $1,666,036 million in 2014. In 2015, Niklas’ $602,877 salary is full guaranteed. In 2016, he’ll make $785,754 and $968,631 in 2017.

Niklas’ cap number exceeds $1 million in each of his last two seasons, with a cap hit of $1,09 million in 2016 and $1.28 million in 2017.

Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina -- third round

Martin signed a four-year deal worth $2.27 million and received a $567,560 signing bonus.

His first-year base salary will be $420,000, but he’ll earn a total of $987,560 in 2014. In 2015 he will earn $528,000. In 2016, he’ll make $618,000, and $710,000 in 2017.

Martin’s average per year will come out to $710,890.

John Brown, WR, Pitt State -- third round

Brown signed a four-year contract worth $2.256 million with a $542,900 signing bonus.

This season, he’ll earn a base salary of $420,000, but will receive a total cash payout of $962,900 because of the signing bonus. In 2015 he is to earn $522,000. In 2016, it's $612,000. In the final year of his contract, Brown is to make $702,000.

His average per year comes out to $699,725.

Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama -- fifth round

Stinson’s four-year contract is worth $2.22 million and came with a $186,740 signing bonus.

In his rookie season, Stinson will earn a $420,000 base salary, but take home $606,740. A year later, his salary increases to $510,000 and then in 2016, he’ll earn $600,000. He is to make $690,000 in 2017.

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter



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