No rookie holdouts looming in Chicago

June, 10, 2009
6/10/09
4:24
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

After Len Pasquarelli's excellent column last week, there should be no surprise that Chicago became the first NFL team to sign its entire nine-man draft class Wednesday. The Bears' pair of third-round picks, defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert and receiver Juaquin Iglesias, both signed four-year contracts.

As Pasquarelli pointed out, Bears contract negotiator Cliff Stein typically makes quick work of signing rookie players. The Bears prefer not to have negotiations hanging over them as training camp approaches, and Stein is willing to make deals before the larger market materializes.

This year's task was made easier by the Jay Cutler trade, which left the Bears without a first-round pick. They traded away their second-round position on draft day. Still, according to a team press release, this is the second time in four years that Chicago has been the first team to sign its class.

As of this posting, 32 draft picks have signed deals around the league. Of the NFC North teams, Detroit has signed No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford. (Thanks to Jimbo and others for pointing out the mistake in an earlier version of this post.)

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