There’s really no reason to wait at this point. The parameters for Dontari Poe’s contract have already been set due to the bookends of the contracts around him given to players taken at No. 10 and 12 in the 2012 NFL Draft. Now that Poe, taken at No. 11 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, is nearing training camp, the Chiefs are likely to work quickly to sign their new defensive tackle to his official rookie deal.
The hold-up to this point is unknown since the Chiefs worked quickly to get the rest of their draft class under contract shortly after the draft. Donald Stephenson, the team’s third round selection, was the last to sign on May 17. Since then, it’s been radio silence from the Chiefs regarding contracts for a player who practiced hard through OTAs despite the lack of official contract.
However there’s really no guesswork when it comes to Poe’s eventual deal. Last year, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans was the No. 11 overal pick and he signed a four year deal worth $11.23 million with a $6.67 million signing bonus. The Chiefs will increase this amount for Poe but it should not be too much higher than this figure.
For the 2012 bookends alluded to earlier, the Buffalo Bills picked Stephon Gilmore at No. 10 and Fletcher Cox was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 12. Gilmore signed for 4 years at $12.1 million while Cox signed a four-year deal worth $10.24 million. Expect Poe to split that difference.
The hang-up could be a fifth year option that some teams are able to successfully negotiate. Gilmore, for example, has an option year with an amount that Albert Breer says will match the 2015 transition tag total for cornerbacks. Cox had no record of having that fifth year so perhaps that is the final hurdle for Poe and the Chiefs to clear.
If Poe turns out to be the franchise cornerstone in the middle, the extra year will make a significant difference down the road. While fans would love to see Poe get signed and the draft class officially signed and sealed, these are the days where contract particulars can make all of the difference down the road. In the end, Poe will sign by the time he needs to and the Chiefs will have their man in-house. There should be no doubt about that.