Dolphins Ahead of the Game with Rookie Signings

Alain Poupart

After a flurry of draft picks signings in early May, things have slowed down considerably in that department for the Miami Dolphins.

But here's the deal when it comes to rookie deals: The Dolphins are near the top of the NFL scoreboard in that department.

The Dolphins have signed eight of their 11 draft picks so far: first-round choice Tua Tagovailoa, second-round choice Raekwon Davis, third-round pick Brandon Jones, fourth-round selection Solomon Kindley, fifth-round choices Jason Strowbridge and Curtis Weaver, sixth-round selection Blake Ferguson and seventh-round pick Malcolm Perry.

The only draft picks left to be signed are first-rounders Austin Jackson and Noah Igbinoghene, as well as Robert Hunt, the first of the Dolphins' two second-round picks.

Doing some quick math, the Dolphins have signed 72.7 percent of their 2020 draft picks.

That compares quite favorably to the overall league average of 22.3 percent, according to research done by Howard Balzer of AllCardinals.

Only three teams have a higher percentage of their rookie draft picks signed, starting with New England at 10-for-10, followed by Buffalo at 6-for-7 and Indianapolis at 7-for-9.

Here's the startling stat: Exactly half the league (16 teams) still have not signed a single draft pick.

And when it comes to first-round picks, Tagovailoa is one of only two under contract. The other is Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown, the seventh overall selection out of Auburn.

The signing of draft picks has lagged behind the trend of recent years. For example, 178 draft picks had signed at this time last year, compared to only 57 this year.

The reason is pretty simple: the coronavirus. In addition to hampering teams' ability to conduct medical exams, it has created continuing uncertainty about the 2020 season, and that means teams aren't in a big hurry to pay out rookie signing bonuses.

For the record, the 16 teams that have yet to sign a 2020 draft picks are the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, L.A. Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

The Dolphins began signing their draft picks May 6 with Kindley; followed by Strowbridge on May 7; Tua, Davis, Weaver and Ferguson on May 12; Jones on May 13; and Perry on June 3. 

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