Chris Long's contract to mirror Jake Long's or (gulp) Matt Ryan's?

Usually it's the top pick in the draft whose deal sets the benchmark for the other first rounders, but with Jake Long signing a five year, $30 million guaranteed deal before the draft and the Falcons then giving Matt Ryan a dump truck load of money (6 years, $72M, $34.5M guaranteed) deals for the top draftees won't be so easy to figure out. For the Rams, the Ryan and Jake Long deals obviously carry quite a bit of impact on contract negotiations with second overall pick Chris Long.

Chris Long and his agent can now enter negotiations with the Rams using Matt Ryan's deal as a starting point, bringing their asking price to somewhere slightly north of the Falcons QB of the future. That's a ton of money for players yet to see an NFL snap. The need to regin in rookie salaries should be obvious. NFL.com's Pat Kirwan has more on the 2008 draftees' contract situtation, and speculates that Chris Long's deal will be much closer to Jake Long's deal than Matt Ryan's.

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I'm putting together the Leonard Little projections and will have that up this afternoon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, how 'bout some links...

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