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-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer, and The Associated PressGreen Bay Packers: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers and expected to eventually emerge as the heir to Brett Favre's starting job, late Saturday night signed his first NFL contract with the team.
Financial details of the deal were not immediately available. The contract is believed to be for five years, however, and similar in structure to the one signed last year by Buffalo Bills first-round quarterback J.P. Losman. Upon signing the contract, Rodgers reported to training camp, where he had missed the first four practices.
Coach Mike Sherman said Rodgers' tardiness was not alarming and that the staff will work to quickly get the former University of California star up to speed.
"Everything we've done so far [in camp], he did in mini-camp," Sherman said. "The opportunity to go back and do it again, he missed that, but he's a bright kid."
In the weeks preceding the draft, Rodgers was a candidate to be the first overall choice in the lottery. But when the San Francisco 49ers opted to take Utah quarterback Alex Smith instead, Rodgers slid all the way to the 24th spot, where the Packers ended his precipitous plummet by quickly snatching him.
The drop in the first round cost Rodgers not only a chance to start immediately in the NFL but plenty of money as well. Smith signed a $49.5 million contract with the 49ers that included $24 million in guarantees. Rodgers' deal is likely to be worth $8 million-$8.5 million, given the slot in which he was selected. The contract was probably a tricky one to negotiate, since both sides were forced to consider future years, when Rodgers might supplant Favre in the lineup.
Rodgers, 21, will have to vie with veterans Craig Nall and J.T. O'Sullivan for the No. 2 job behind Favre this year. Rodgers was said to have been inconsistent in mini-camps.
In Rodgers' two seasons at California, he completed 424 of 665 passes for 5,469 yards, with 43 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. He transferred to California after one season at Butte (Cal.) Junior College.
-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writerAtlanta Falcons: Six days late and now having to quickly get back up to speed if he is to claim the starting job the Atlanta Falcons had reserved for him, first-round wide receiver Roddy White on Sunday morning reached agreement on a five-year contract.
The deal came at about 1:30 a.m., and after weeks of negotiations, and White immediately headed to training camp.
The base contract is worth about $7.3 million, with a maximum value in the $8 million range, and includes $4.75 million in guarantees.
The 27th player selected overall, White appeared in 45 games at Alabama-Birmingham, and started in all but two of them. The speedy wideout had 163 career receptions for 3,112 yards and 26 touchdowns. His 1,452 receiving yards in 2004 led the nation. Over the final two years of his career, White averaged a lofty 20.9 yards per catch and scored 21 touchdowns.
While they have not conceded it publicly, the Falcons projected White as a starter. It remains to be seen how his six-day absence from camp will affect those plans.
-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writerKansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs on Sunday night reached agreement with first-round linebacker Derrick Johnson on a five-year contract, the financial details of which were not immediately available. The former Texas standout was the 15th overall player chosen in the 2005 draft and he is expected to make an immediate impact on the revamped Chiefs defense. Johnson worked at times with the first unit during the team's mini-camp this spring and flashed the kind of athleticism that made him one of the college game's premier defenders with the Longhorns. It is believed that Johnson will challenge for the starting job at weak-side linebacker. In four college seasons, Johnson started in 40 of 50 appearances and registered 458 tackles, including 65 tackles for losses. He also had 10 ½ sacks, 39 quarterback pressures, 11 forced fumbles, five recoveries and 30 passes defensed. In 2004, he won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defender and the Butkus Award as the top linebacker.
-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writerSeattle Seahawks: The Seahawks signed second-round draft pick Lofa Tatupu on Sunday, leaving first-round selection Chris Spencer as the team's only unsigned rookie. Tatupu, a linebacker out of USC, joined the team for Sunday's early workout. He didn't have time to study a playbook, relying on his memory from minicamps as Seattle practiced in full pads on the third day of camp. "I just went off what I remembered," Tatupu said. "We didn't have to do as many things [before] as we're doing now. I'll have time to catch up. Right after this, I'll get right into that playbook. No nap for me." Tatupu said he spent the past week working out at a Seattle-area gym with Spencer, a center from Mississippi. After Tatupu agreed to contract terms, he even bummed a ride to the airport late Saturday from his fellow draft pick. "I told him, 'Why don't we go ahead and both sign?'" Tatupu said. "But everybody has their own situation. I hope it works out best for him." In his most recent comments on the matter, coach Mike Holmgren said Saturday the team was close to signing both rookies. For his part, Tatupu expressed relief to move past the business side of football and return to the field. He claimed he didn't know why his signing was delayed, saying he relied on his agent to handle it. "It was very frustrating," Tatupu said. "You're not used to it. In college, you're used to going to camp on time. There's no such thing as not being there. Then you have to play it the way you're told to." The Seahawks also were waiting for running back Shaun Alexander to show up. He remained home in the Seattle area after the birth of his second child on Thursday but was expected to take part in his first workout Monday.
-- The Associated PressArizona Cardinals: The Cardinals agreed to terms with second-round draft pick J.J. Arrington on Sunday, hours before the team opened training camp. The four-year deal with the running back from California left first-round pick Antrel Rolle as the team's only unsigned draft pick. Arrington has been listed as the starter at running back for the Cardinals after summer workouts. As a senior, Arrington was the only back in the country to top 2,000 yards, finishing with 2,018 on 289 carries. He scored 15 touchdowns.
-- The Associated Press