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Top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney signs with Houston Texans

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NFL: Houston Texans-Jadeveon Clowney Press Conference
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Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith (left) and head coach Bill O'Brien (right) with first-round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney (USA Today Sports Images)

The relative yawn that was let out over the news that Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney signed is a reminder that times have changed.

Remember when you'd be lucky to see any first-round picks signed in June, and it was always a race in late July to get everyone inked before training camp started? That was just a few years ago. Contract negotiations with a first overall pick could be a legitimate problem. In 2007, Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell didn't sign until after Oakland had played its first regular-season game. That was the extreme example, but that seems to be over now.

Clowney, like many draft picks already, signed on Friday and it was mostly an afterthought. The news that Clowney had signed didn't even slow people down from complaining about LeBron James' cramping. Thankfully, by now we realize thanks to the slotting of draft pick contracts, that the days of worrying about rookies not being in camp on time are practically over. The Houston Chronicle's John McClain first reported on the four-year deal that has a fifth-year option for the Texans.

There wasn't a ton of gymnastics that needed to be executed to get that contract signed. The Texans got their prized rookie under contract many weeks before training camp, and Clowney gets a good contract befitting of the first pick of the draft. Isn't it better this way?

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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