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Pennies from heaven

According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, The Rams and #2 overall draft pick Chris Long agreed to a deal worth "a couple million" less than first overall pick OT Jake Long. That puts Chris Long's contract in the $29 million guaranteed range for the five nonvoidable years on the deal.

That makes sense, but a good reminder of just how pricey rookie contracts have become, something that figures to be a major sticking point in the looming CBA negotiations. Chris Long's deal is worth 16% more than last year's second overall pick, Calvin Johnson. All things being relative, it's a good deal for the Rams. Long could have held out for something more akin to what #3 pick QB Matt Ryan got from the Falcons, arguing that Long was more projectable and figures to be just as important of a team anchor as any skill position, true on both counts. Haters out there - are there any? - may roll  their eyes at the deal, but the Rams came to the table subject to market forces and with a mandate writ large to have Long in camp or risk undermining a season that figures to be an important one for the franchise.

The Rams also signed 7th round pick Chris Chamberlain to a three year deal. Not quite as heralded as news of Long's signing, the Tulsa QB figures to be an important part of the Rams plans this season as a special teams ace. While he might see time as a LB with the Rams potentially short in that department, he might surprise us all with some snaps at strong safety, as we've discussed before.

The Rams have just three picks left to sign: Avery, Justin King and David Vobora. For the later two, 4th and 7th round picks, respectively, it's just a matter of applying the formula, and both are a safe bet to be signed by Thursday. Similar situation with Avery. The Redskins signed their second round pick, Devin Thomas, who was drafted immediately after Avery, on Friday, July 18. Thomas signed a 4 year deal worth $4.8 million, so the terms of a deal with Avery ought not be to hard to extrapolate from that. Expect him to sign soon too.