Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dolphins sign draft picks Charles Clay, Frank Kearse, Jimmy Wison to deals

The Miami Dolphins have agreed to terms with three of their six draft picks, signing sixth-round fullback/tight end Charles Clay, seventh-round nose tackle Frank Kearse, and seventh-round safety Jimmy Wilson to four-year contracts Thursday.

Financial terms have not yet been disclosed for any of the Dolphins' signings, but I will have more on that when the information becomes available. For now, we can get an idea of what each player signed for by looking at the signed picks of other teams drafted near them.
  • Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell, who was chosen at pick No. 173 one spot before Clay, received a $2.15 million contract with a $113,452 signing bonus.
  • Saints defensive end Greg Romeus, who was chosen at pick No. 226 five spots before Kearse and nine spots before, received a $2.08 million contract with a $50,000 signing bonus.
  • Buccaneers tight end Daniel Hardy, who was chosen at pick No. 238 three spots after Wilson, received a $45,900 signing bonus.

The signings give the Dolphins 71 players on the active roster, not including the team's four restricted or exclusive-rights free agents, Tony McDaniel and Jason Trusnik, who can all officially sign tomorrow.
Of these three, Clay seems most likely to make have an impact as a rookie, as he provides a versatile threat out of the backfield and will likely be moved around from fullback to tight end. In my view, he could be a growing threat on Lousaka Polite's roster spot.

Kearse and Wilson, meanwhile, both enter positions with pretty good depth at nose tackle and free safety, respectively. I wouldn't rule out either in making the roster, but I think the practice squad is a better bet for both at this point.

With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement making the signing of draft picks substantially easier, the Dolphins were able to get these deals done despite their other dealings around the league and now have just three picks left unsigned. The Dolphins expect their first three picks of the draft—center Mike Pouncey, running back Daniel Thomas, and wide receiver Clyde Gates—to be signed by Friday.

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