With the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting their 2016 rookie minicamp this weekend, it seems natural the team would begin signing some of their rookies the Thursday before the fun begins. The team announced Thursday they signed both of their 7th round draft picks, DeMarcus Ayers from University of Houston and Tyler Matakevich of Temple, to their first NFL contract.
The two seventh rounders are the first draft picks of the 2016 NFL Draft to sign their rookie contracts. What used to be a big event when an NFL team signed their rookies to new deals has now become a very mundane formality. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, no longer can rookies hold out and expect to receive those bloated contracts for players who haven't even set foot on an NFL football field yet. Rather, depending on when you are drafted will determine the length and maximum value of the contract.
What players still can negotiate are signing bonuses, but rarely do those hold up negotiations between the player and the team. In 2015, it was 7th round pick Gerod Holliman who held out the longest before signing his rookie contract, and he failed to make the team after training camp.
No financial details of the contracts were released to the public.