I had written a story for the front page of this website supposing that Jimmy Williams signed a 5-year contract while the rest of the Falcons class got 4-year deals. After reading this on PFT, I was wrong:
Pro Football Talk wrote:
We're told that the pending contract disputes between the Dolphins and the Eagles and their respective first-round picks is a direct result of the recent CBA negotiations. As part of the deal, contracts are now limited in length, with six years being the longest term for the first 16 picks in round one, five years the maximum for the next 16 picks, and four years for the rest of the class.
So the new CBA prohibits players after Round 1 to be signed to deals longer than 4 years. And 1st rounders can be signed to either 5 or 6-year deals dependent on where they were drafted.
So all our rookies will become UFAs following 2009. Based off estimates from other rookie's contracts, Williams probably received a bonus of $2.1M while Norwood's was somewhere between $710-$740K. Either way it probably allowed the Falcons to still retain about $1 million of their unused rookie salary cap.