Last year, Roquan Smith, the eighth overall selection to the Chicago Bears, was the last first-rounder to sign, ending his 30-day holdout on Aug. 14 over financial protections from potential suspensions stemming from the NFL's new lowering-the-helmet rule.
Two years earlier, Los Angeles Chargers top pick Joey Bosa — selected No. 3 overall — held out until 13 days prior to Week 1 in a stalemate that revolved around offset language.
Will there be a lengthy holdout this year? The best way to find out is following along with PFW's 2019 first-round contract tracker, which will be updated as each of the 32 rookies sign, with approximate contract parameters and our analysis of what to expect from their maiden NFL voyages.
1. QB Kyler Murray (signed by Arizona Cardinals on May 9)
Murray gets better-than-baseball money initially, to be sure: His $35.1 million fully guaranteed likely would have taken years to earn on the diamond. Of course, with Murray's billing as the first overall pick comes the weight of great expectations that must be met a whole lot quicker than if he were playing baseball.
And we think, barring health, Murray just might begin meeting them soon, too. If he can avoid the trainer's room the way Lincoln Riley says he did in Norman despite a lot more level playing field, where the competition still might not be as fast and dynamic as Murray is but increases significantly, he's in an excellent spot in Kliff Kingsbury's Air Raid to make a Baker Mayfield-esque rookie introduction.
The Cardinals O-line has enough talent if its members play to it, and with David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk joined by rookies Hakeem Butler, Caleb Wilson and Andy Isabella, the ingredients to cook up an explosive attack abound. Murray might be a better fantasy quarterback than he is in reality out of the gate, but one thing is certain: It's going to be a ton of fun to watch regardless.
Last year's No. 1 overall pick, Mayfield signed a four-year, fully-guaranteed contract worth $32.6 million, according to spotrac.
7. OLB Josh Allen (signed by Jacksonville Jaguars on May 23)
Allen inked Thursday his rookie contract reportedly worth a guaranteed $22.7 million, officially making him Jacksonville's biggest offseason investment after Nick Foles. In comparing the risk of the two deals, even if one is for a Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback, we'd probably side with Allen. That speaks to his remarkable improvements over the past year that wouldn't have been possible without impeccable football character — a departure, we'll add, from recent first-rounders, such as Leonard Fournette and Dante Fowler.
This isn't meant to slam either of those two, and especially not Foles, but rather praise the value Jacksonville seemingly received in the versatile Allen. He'll be asked mostly out of the gate to rush the passer, but his speed and length also in time could become key assets helping him become a mismatch elixir in space. Allen has not only a really high ceiling but a high floor with his physical and mental makeup, making him basically the perfect pick and a great fit for the combustible Jaguars.