The Kansas City Chiefs have signed their 2021 NFL Draft class, according to a tweet from the team, locking up their rookies to long-term deals.
Aaron Wilson originally reported linebacker Nick Bolton and guard Trey Smith's deals on Twitter Thursday morning before the Chiefs announced the signing of the entire class later in the day.
According to Wilson, Bolton's contract is worth $5.834 million with a $1.602 million signing bonus and Smith's deal is worth $3.809 million with a $130,704 signing bonus.
These deals both align with the NFL's rookie wage scale, but are both noteworthy as they became the Chiefs' first 2021 draftees officially under contract. It's also worth noting as a potentially impactful long-term number to keep in mind. In 2021, linebacker Anthony Hitchens will carry a $10.6 million salary cap hit. In 2022, Hitchens' hit will be $12.7 million unless he's released (freeing up $8.5 million of cap space) or restructured. Those numbers highlight the value of Bolton's sub-$6 million deal which stretches out over four years.
Similarly, compare Smith's deal with the 2021 cap hits of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif ($4.75 million), Andrew Wylie ($2.1 million) or even Kyle Long ($1.1 million). Smith's four-year, $3.8 million deal would be a steal if he performs well enough to stay on the roster, not even mentioning Joe Thuney's long-term deal worth an average of $16 million per year.
Rookies provide a tremendous value to NFL rosters if they can play well enough to earn a spot on the field. Now the Chiefs and their draftees won't have to worry about the monetary side as they prepare to make an impact in their first year in Kansas City.