TWENTYMAN: Lions sign two more rookies

Posted May 16, 2014

The Lions signed CB Nevin Lawson and WR TJ Jones bringing their total to five draft picks signed.

The Lions began their rookie minicamp today, but also took care of the business side of football with the signing of some rookie contracts.

Nevin LawsonCB Nevin Lawson (Photo: Detroit Lions)

It should be noted that rookie draft picks don’t have to be under contract to participate in this weekend’s minicamp.

That being said, five of the eight players drafted by the Lions last weekend decided to simply get it out of the way.

Cornerback Nevin Lawson (fourth round), defensive end Larry Webster, (fourth), defensive tackle Caruan Reid (fifth), receiver TJ Jones (sixth) and kicker Nate Freese (seventh) have all signed on the dotted line.

That leaves the team’s top three picks – Eric Ebron, Kyle Van Noy and Travis Swanson – as the only players yet unsigned.

Lawson is a physical, on-the-line-of-scrimmage cornerback who recorded 205 tackles and 34 pass breakups at Utah State.

Webster, an athletic defensive end (4.58 in 40), recorded 16 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks for Bloomsburg last year. He set the school record with 13.5 sacks in 2012.

Reid is a two-time All-American at Princeton and recorded 20 sacks from the interior over the last three seasons.

Jones caught 70 passes for 1,108 yards and nine touchdowns last season for Notre Dame. He also had five 100-yard performances.

In 50 career games at Boston College, Freese made 70-of 81-field goal attempts and was a perfect 20-for-20 last season.

Negotiating rookie contracts is more of a formality nowadays with the new rookie wage scale. All contracts are four years in length, except teams have an option for a fifth year with first round picks that must be exercised after the third year.

The main issue with the first round contracts is whether the fully guaranteed deal will have an offset clause. Offsets allows a team to reduce the guaranteed money owed to a player if he is released by the amount of his new deal with another team.

The team expects Ebron, Van Noy and Swanson to be signed soon.