Courtesy of Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
A few thoughts on this positive development from late last week:
The #Texans signed No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson Jr. to a fully guaranteed four-year, $35,212,818 million deal with a fifth-year option, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 23, 2023
Anderson gets a $22,609,320 signing bonus as part of the deal, which was negotiated by Nicole Lynn of @KlutchSports. pic.twitter.com/T0nJzRj1yl
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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