Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Hubbard among tops in UDFA bonus bucks
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It's not the only way to measure what a team thinks of an undrafted free agent, but one way to gauge it is by the size of the signing bonus the player received.
Looking at the Green Bay Packers' list of undrafted rookies from that angle, it appears five players stand out from the rest.
Utah State linebacker Jake Doughty, Toledo outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott, Washington State guard John Fullington, Alabama outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard and South Carolina State linebacker Joe Thomas all received $5,000 signing bonuses as part of their three-year, minimum salary deals.
Last year, the highest signing bonus the Packers paid to an undrafted rookie went to guard Lane Taylor ($7,000). The next group consisted of quarterback Matt Brown ($5,000), defensive tackle Gilbert Pena ($5,000), tight end Jake Stoneburner ($5,000) and outside linebacker Andy Mulumba ($5,000). Taylor and Mulumba made the Week 1 roster, while Stoneburner started the year on the practice squad but was elevated to the roster.
It's worth noting what a former agent pointed out this week when he said the undrafted free-agent process moves so fast that teams will sometimes tack on an extra thousand or two in the heat of a conversation just to get a deal done so they can move on to their next target.
With that in mind, here's a list of the signing bonus money the Packers paid out to their undrafted rookies, according to salary data from ESPN Stats & Information and NFL Players Association contract files.
(Note: there are two additions to the original list – Fullington and Iowa safety Tanner Smith).
$5,000 Jake Doughty, LB, Utah State
Jayrone Elliott, OLB, Toledo
John Fullington G, Washington State
Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
Joe Thomas, LB, South Carolina State