On Thursday, June 7, the St. Louis Rams signed first round draft pick Michael Brockers to a four-year deal worth close to $9.5 million. The contract is fully-guaranteed and includes a team option for a fifth year.
Brockers' signing comes just one day after second round pick Isaiah Pead put his name on the dotted line with the Rams. Only wide receiver Brian Quick and cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson remain unsigned.
I guess we have the new collective bargaining agreement to thank for all of the rookie signings that have been taking place. The rookie pay scale introduced by the CBA has ensured that our young players won't miss camp because they were trying to get the best deal. Instead, the pay wages are nearly set in stone.
I can't say how important it is for a young, rebuilding franchise like the Rams to have their rookies signed before training camp. That's why I love the new pay scale. I don't have to wonder if Brockers and the rest of the Rams' rookies will hold out. Both the player and the team had an idea of how much he'd make in his first contract when he was drafted with the 14th pick.
Now that he's signed, Brockers doesn't have to worry about anything but football for his rookie season. I can't wait to see how this impacts his performance. Getting in a full training camp with new head coach Jeff Fisher will be a huge part of his development.
We've seen what happens when players hold out during training camp. Think about it. How many times has a player held out and then turned in a poor season once they finally returned to their team? For example, Tennessee Titans' running back Chris Johnson held out during the offseason and then had the worst season of his career in 2011. He earned career-lows in yards rushing (1,047), yards-per-carry (4.0), and touchdowns (4). I'm convinced that many of his problems came from missing a huge chunk of training camp with head coach Mike Munchak.
Thankfully, Brockers won't have that problem. He's signed and ready to go. Brockers is already learning the Rams' system, and I believe that he's going to have an outstanding rookie year in the middle of defensive line.
Derek Ciapala has been a Rams fan since he was a child and the team was in Los Angeles. His favorite Rams moments include Flipper Anderson's 336-yard receiving night against the Saints in 1989, and their miracle 1999 run to their first Super Bowl victory. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.