Before 2011, not many rookie draft picks signed before Independence Day. Now, most will be under contract by Memorial Day.
The latest rookie to sign in 2019 is the highest pick yet. Vikings tight end Irv Smith, a second-rounder, has agreed to terms, his agency tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Smith’s arrival in Minnesota prompted immediate speculation that the Vikings could trade veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph, a second-rounder back in 2011. Rudolph is under contract for one more year, and a trade would give the Vikings more than $7 million in much-needed cap space.
Smith played at Alabama, and he was widely regarded as one of the top tight ends in the class. The Vikings devote each of their first four picks to offense, with two linemen and a running back joining Smith.