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Kool-Aid McKinstry signing may have set a new precedent for Saints

This was a bit of a surprise. The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that second-round draft pick Kool-Aid McKinstry had signed his rookie contract, meaning all seven picks from their 2024 draft class had put pens to paper.

But that’s not all. This was the soonest a Saints second round pick had signed their contract under the new collective bargaining agreement, which came into effect in 2021. While that CBA did standardize rookie salaries and tie contract values to draft slots, there was still some wriggle-room left for players’ agents and teams’ front offices to negotiate things like guaranteed money, offsets paid by other teams after trades, and other details.

Those talks have sometimes taken months to work out, but that wasn’t the case for McKinstry. Here is when each of the Saints’ second-round draft picks signed their rookie contracts under the new CBA:

  • 2021: Pete Werner signed on June 8

  • 2022: Alontate Taylor signed on July 19

  • 2023: Isaiah Foskey signed on July 19

  • 2024: Kool-Aid McKinstry signed on May 31

It’s also possible that McKinstry is an exception — we’ll have to wait and see how things go in 2025. But it’s good to get these things out of the way sooner rather than later. It’s one less distraction to trail the team (however small) and one less order of business to conclude before training camp starts in late July. Now they can really focus on football.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire