Friday, the Miami Dolphins rookies will hit the practice field for the first time as NFL players, taking part in the team's rookie minicamp. Thursday night, they did something else: sign their contracts. All seven Dolphins draft picks have signed their rookie deals, officially becoming a part of the team.
This is a little unusual for Miami, a team that has typically waited until just before training camp in July to complete all their contracts. There is also, usually, some debate over "offset language" - stipulations in the contract that, if a player is released prior to the completion of his deal, then signs with another team, the Dolphins will only be required to pay him the difference between his new contract and any guaranteed money he was still owed when he was released - particularly for the first round pick.
Instead, wide receiver DeVante Parker is one of the seven contracts that were signed Thursday. Along with Parker (first round), defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (second round), guard Jamil Douglas (fourth round), cornerback Bobby McCain (fifth round), running back Jay Ajayi (fifth round), safety Cedric Thompson (fifth round), and cornerback Tony Lippett (fifth round) all signed their rookie deals.
Under the league's rookie salary scale, the contracts for every draft choice is set, even before the pick is made. The Dolphins appear to have used that to their advantage this year, completing their deals before rookie minicamp.