Striking a deal at the 11th hour, the Green Bay Packers and first-round pick Datone Jones have agreed to a contract, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein and Bob McGinn reported on Wednesday night.
That made Wednesday and especially happy day for Jones, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday.
Last year, the Packers signed top pick Nick Perry on May 10. Negotiations dragged on with Jones — as well as most of this year’s first-round picks.
As Packer Report wrote on June 26, Jones, the 26th selection, was expected to receive a four-year deal worth $7.72 million, including a $3.99 million bonus. That’s right in line with what Silverstein reported on Wednesday.
One possible stumbling block was guarantees and bonuses.
In 2012, the Packers fully guaranteed the first three years of Perry’s contract but not a penny was guaranteed in Year 4 and there was no bonus money in that final year. That meant $6.087 million of the $7.5 million deal was guaranteed.
In 2013, St. Louis linebacker Alec Ogletree, the 30th pick of the draft, received $688,638 in roster bonuses for Year 4.
According to Silverstein, Perry received about $6.3 million guaranteed. Based on that money, it appears the Packers won the standoff with Jones.
Either way, the contract gets Jones to camp in time for Friday’s first practice.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.