- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tampa Bay safety Mark Barron is the only NFC South first-round pick yet to sign a contract, but I seriously doubt you’re going to see any holdout that will keep him out of training camp.
With the new collective bargaining agreement, you might not see any holdouts at all. In fact, a lot of draft picks around the league already have signed and the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons already have signed their entire draft classes.
Plus, Baron’s deal should be relatively simple. As the No. 7 overall pick, Barron should get a little bit more than Carolina’s Luke Kuechly, the No. 9 overall pick, got. Kuechly’s four-year deal (with a team option for a fifth year) is worth up to $12.578 million and averages $3.144 million a year. He also received a $7.588 million signing bonus.
With all their other picks already signed, the Bucs still have $3.536 million left under this year’s rookie pool. Barron should get most or all of that. Under the new rules, each team also has a limit on what it can pay its rookies over the course of their entire contracts. Tampa Bay’s limit is $33.9 million. The Bucs have $14.812 million remaining, so I’d expect the total value of Barron’s deal to be close to that.