- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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As we've noted many times over the past two years, signing draft picks isn't the adventure that it used to be. The NFL's collective bargaining agreement, ratified for the 2011 season, created a streamlined negotiating process and provided far less wiggle room for agents.
As a result, the Detroit Lions wrapped up talks with their entire draft class Friday morning, including first-round pick Ziggy Ansah. The Lions became the first NFL team to do so, but several other teams are close. That includes the Chicago Bears, who have signed all but first-round pick Kyle Long.
Rookies are eligible to participate in rookie minicamps and all other offseason practices even if they haven't signed a contract, so there really isn't a rush to sign deals in May or June. The incentive for the team is to avoid any last-minute market curveballs that could arise from negotiations elsewhere. The player, meanwhile, receives his signing bonus earlier than if he waited until closer to training camp.