Sean Pendergast

Will Anderson Signs Rookie Contract, Stroud Still Unsigned

Will Anderson signed his rookie contract late last week, and is ready to go for training camp.
Screen grab form YouTube
Will Anderson signed his rookie contract late last week, and is ready to go for training camp.
The Houston Texans' first phase of their offseason program is in the books, after mandatory minicamp closed up shop ten days ago, but there were still a few administrative tasks for General Manager Nick Caserio and his crew to take care of with training camp looming at the end of July. They handled a big one on Friday, with third overall pick in the 2023 draft, edge rusher Will Anderson, Jr., signing his rookie contract.

Courtesy of Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
A few thoughts on this positive development from late last week:

Terms of the deal, Anderson is a wealthy man and a Texans fixture
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, there really isn't any wiggle room for rookies on their first professional contracts. Other than some leeway for administrative terms and conditions, the pay structure itself is pretty rigid. Anderson's third overall slot in the 2023 draft means a fully guaranteed, four year deal for over $35 million, including a signing bonus of over $22 million. (Friday was a day Anderson is glad his new job is in a state with no state income tax, for sure.) From a Texans perspective, this locks in a player with massive potential for four years at a more than reasonable rate, and gives the team a chance to retain him for a fifth year under the fifth year option (a clause for all NFL first rounders).

Time for Anderson to go live up to the hype created by the trade for him
The Texans undoubtedly plaid a huge price to move up from the 12th overall pick to the 3rd overall pick to draft Anderson, including their 2nd round pick (33rd overall) in this year's draft and, more importantly, their first round pick in 2024, which many experts believe will be a top five pick. DeMeco Ryans is hoping that the Texans give a big middle finger to those folks with some surprising improvement this season. At Alabama, Anderson was one of the most prolific edge rushers in school history, with 34.5 sacks over his three seasons in Tuscaloosa. The Texans had their eyes set on Anderson from the start of the draft process, as he was the first collegiate prospect that they hosted for an in-Houston visit back in the early spring.

One down, one to go
With Anderson's deal done, attention now turns to quarterback C.J. Stroud, who remains one of nine rookies (as of Friday) who have yet to sign their contracts. Again, these rookie contracts are largely slotted for the actual pay scale, so Stroud's deal not being complete shouldn't be cause for alarm, although the fact that he shares an agent (David Mulugheta) with Deshaun Watson will undoubtedly have some Texans fans a little nervous. My advice would be to not lose sleep over Stroud being unsigned at this time. The Texans have signed their other seven drafted rookies, outside of Anderson and Stroud.

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