The news release from the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, announcing the signing of undrafted free agent receiver Justin Veltung, was about as vanilla as you're going to get:
The Seattle Seahawks have signed wide receiver Justin Veltung, the team announced today.
Veltung, from nearby Puyallup, played 43 career games at the University of Idaho and collected 62 receptions for 901 yards with eight touchdowns and returned 80 kickoffs for 1,743 yards with two touchdowns in his career. He left Idaho as its all-time kickoff return leader (78) and kickoff return yardage leader (1,743), and 11th on its all-time all-purpose yardage list with 2,972 yards.
Veltung attended Seattle's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis from May 10-12.
So ... yeah. That's not why Veltung made Shutdown Corner today. He made Shutdown Corner today because he can rock a 56-inch (4-foot-8) standing box jump at 5-foot-11. To put that in perspective, NBA draft prospect DJ Stephens recently got a lot of attention for a 46-inch vertical leap while working out for the Brooklyn Nets. Box jumps and verticals are different, but still ... wow.
You can view Veltung's super-jump below:
That's fairly impressive, and reminds us of the time that former Arizona Cardinals and current New England Patriots safety Adrian Wilson (at 6-foot-3) pulled off a 66-inch jump with a three-step head start.
Yes, these NFL athletes are talented. Of course, Wilson has taken his athleticism to five Pro Bowls since 2001, while Veltung is just getting started. But with him on the roster, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson -- who is generously listed at 5-foot-10 5/8 -- should consider his new receiver for the end zone fade, at the same time he's warning the kid not to try and jump over his head.
Arizona Cardinals third-round safety Tyrann Mathieu has signed his first NFL contract, the team announced on Thursday.
Because Mathieu had failed multiple drug tests at LSU, where the "Honey Badger" was booted off the team before the 2012 season, the terms of Mathieu's contract were the subject of a mini-controversy following his selection in the 2013 NFL draft. Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported that the Cardinals could receive permission to test Mathieu for drugs on a weekly basis and that the deal might not contain any guaranteed money.
Mathieu's agent, Patrick Lawlor, quickly denied that his client would accept a deal that didn't include guaranteed money. As "Shutdown Corner" noted at the time, since the 2006 season, no rookie had signed a contract that contained zero guaranteed money. In that post, we suggested that the Cardinals and Lawlor could model Mathieu's contract after the rookie deal of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who had some failed drug tests while at Florida and fell to the Patriots in the fourth-round of the 2010 draft.
Hernandez was scheduled to receive a four-year, $2.29 million contract that included a guaranteed signing bonus of around $500,000. Instead, he received a $200,000 signing bonus, but his deal had a maximum value of $2.69 million as Hernandez could earn an additional $388,000 in weekly roster bonuses (for being on the 53-man roster, injured reserve or physically unable to perform list, i.e., not suspended for violating the substance abuse or personal conduct policies) during all four seasons of the contract, essentially exceeding the guaranteed amount dedicated to his draft slot.
According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, it appears as though the Cardinals and Mathieu took the same approach New England took with Hernandez in 2010.
As the seventh pick in Round 3 of the 2013 draft, Mathieu's rookie contract called for a signing bonus of $662,500. Breer reports that Mathieu received a $265,000 signing bonus and can earn an additional $397,500 in partially guaranteed roster bonuses ($132,500 in 2014, 2015 and 2016) over the final three seasons of the deal. The deal is worth $3.052 million and, if Mathieu stays out of trouble, likely on a weekly basis, he will receive $662,500 in guaranteed money in this contract.
That the Cardinals took the Hernandez approach with Mathieu should not come as a surprise. Arizona's vice president of player personnel Jason Licht was the director of pro personnel with the Patriots when Hernandez was drafted. Also, the Cardinals' director of football administration is Mike Disner and their football administration coordinator is Matt Caracciolo, both of whom previously worked for the Patriots.
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But the team has protected themselves by making much of it roster bonuses.
The rookie will get as much as he should if he stays out of trouble.
Only three draft picks remain unsigned for the Cardinals.
With Crabtree down for the Niners, how would things look if Larry Fitzgerald were to suffer a similar serious injury?
Seth Cox looks at the current personnel at the position and their strengths and weaknesses. Do the Cardinals have the players they need and will they have a positive impact in 2013?
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