Green Bay Packers: Johnny Manziel

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Being selected 21st overall in the NFL draft has its advantages.

The contract safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix signed on Friday with the Green Bay Packers is almost fully guaranteed.

Clinton-Dix
Had Clinton-Dix been taken as little as one spot later, his rookie deal might not have contained as much guaranteed money.

According to salary data obtained by ESPN Stats & Information, Clinton-Dix's four-year, $8,338,500 contract contained $7,559,967 in total guarantees. That included a $4,384,364 signing bonus as well as guaranteed base salaries in all four years.

Since the new CBA went into effect in 2011, when rookie contracts began to follow a slotting system, only players in roughly the top two-thirds of the first round received all four years of their base salaries fully guaranteed. Last year’s No. 22 overall pick, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, had his base salaries fully guaranteed for just the first three years. In the fourth year only $300,000 of his $918,558 base was guaranteed.

This year's No. 22 overall pick, quarterback Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns, has not signed his contract yet but could be the first player selected in that spot to have all four of his base salaries fully guaranteed.

Here's a breakdown of Clinton-Dix's contract:

2014
  • Cash value: $4,804,364
  • Salary-cap charge: $1,516,091
  • Signing bonus: $4,384,364 (guaranteed money)
  • Base salary: $420,000 (guaranteed)
2015
  • Cash value: $799,023
  • Salary-cap charge: $1,895,114
  • Base salary: $799,023 (guaranteed)
2016
  • Cash value: $1,178,046
  • Salary-cap charge: $2,274,137
  • Base salary: $1,178,046 (guaranteed)
2017
  • Cash value: $1,557,068
  • Salary-cap charge: $2,653,159
  • Base salary: $778,534 (guaranteed)
  • Roster bonus: $778,534 (to be paid on the fifth day of the league year)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Ted Thompson did not come right out and say it, and Ray Farmer was not asked about it.

But it's safe to say that the general managers of the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns discussed a trade for the 21st overall pick in Thursday's first round.

"Um," Thompson said with a smile. "We talked to a number of teams."

A few minutes after Thompson picked Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Browns traded up to No. 22 to take quarterback Johnny Manziel.

If Farmer offered Thompson the same deal he swung with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Packers would have received the 26th overall pick in the first round plus Cleveland's third-round pick (No. 83 overall).

That still would have allowed the Packers to still make a pick in the first round, and it would have given them four selections on Day 2 (rounds 2 and 3).

However, it would have put them at risk of losing Clinton-Dix.

Although no team between 21 and 26 selected a safety, perhaps that would have been different had Clinton-Dix still been on the board.

The Packers still would have had a chance at the two other first-round safeties == Washington State's Deone Bucannon (who went No. 27 to the Arizona Cardinals) and Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward (No. 30 to San Francisco) -- but it's not known whether Thompson valued those players in the first round.

As things stand now, the Packers have three selections on Friday: Nos. 53 (second round), 85 (third round) and 98 (third round).
Each week, I will ask for questions via Twitter with the hashtag #PackersMail and then will deliver the answers over the weekend.

 
Each week, I will ask for questions via Twitter with the hashtag #PackersMail and then will deliver the answers over the weekend.

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