American Football

Lions sign rookie TE Sam LaPorta as 2nd-rounders continue to set new contract precedents


NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Sam LaPorta’s rookie contract with the Detroit Lions continues a league-wide trend of new and unprecedented deals .

The Detroit Lions announced on Thursday that they have signed second-round pick Sam LaPorta. The rookie tight end becomes the sixth Lions draft pick under contract, with just two—first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs and second-round pick Brian Branch—remaining unsigned.

LaPorta’s signing is notable, because the NFL is currently undergoing some extra negotiations with second-round picks. While the CBA has made most rookie signings a formality, this year, second-round picks in particular have been pushing for more guarantees in their contracts that have become the norm for top-20 draft picks.

This was all expedited by the historic deal that Seahawks second-round pick Derick Hall (Pick 37) signed just a few weeks ago:

The details of LaPorta’s contract are out now, and it appears he, too, has set new precedents for second-round rookie contracts:

That said, there are still plenty of second-round picks—including Branch—who have set to sign their rookie contracts. Per Spotrac’s draft tracker, as of Thursday only 12 other second-round picks have signed their rookie deals.

LaPorta was a standout at Lions OTAs and minicamp over the spring, and he’ll enter training camp with high expectations.

“He’s right where he needs to be,” tight ends coach Steve Heiden said this week. “He’s doing a good job, every day. We’re trying to implement the things that we’re teaching, within the gameplan and the scheme, so he’s right where he needs to be.”

We’ll be sure to provide updates if and when Gibbs and Branch sign their rookie deals.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login