The 2011 labor deal dramatically streamlined the process for getting rookie draft picks signed and sealed. As a result, plenty of teams that previously didn’t even start negotiating until after the Fourth of July are now getting these deals done before Memorial Day.
The 49ers are on the front end of the draft-pick signing parade by getting three of their selections under contract. The team announced the transactions on Saturday.
More teams should get rookies signed before they ever take the field, and more rookies (and their agents) should insist on it. While unsigned rookies enter into letters of protection that promise them the money they’d get if they suffer a serious injury before signing their contracts, the best protection comes from signing the contract.