A few days ago, Andrew Aziz projected the contracts for each of the Colts' eight draft picks, and as expected he was very accurate.
Aziz projected a four-year, $10.56 million contract for first round pick Ryan Kelly with a $5.8 million signing bonus, and that's almost exactly what the center received. The Colts and Kelly agreed to terms on the contract late Wednesday night, and today The National Football Post's Aaron Wilson reported the details of the contract.
According to Wilson, it's a four-year deal worth up to $10.45 million for Kelly with a signing bonus of $5.8 million. While we don't know exactly how it breaks up over the course of those four years, Aziz projected a $1,919,253 cap hit in 2016.
With the salary cap continuing to rise each year and with this year's mark being the highest in history, the contracts for rookies continues to rise as well. With the rookie wage scale in the new CBA most of the negotiating is taken off of the table as there is a range for the contract to be in, and that's why Ryan Kelly and the Colts reached a deal so quickly. His contract is a slight increase over the number 18 pick from past years, keeping with the adjustment for the rising salary cap. Last year, Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters got a four-year deal worth $9.6 million with a $5.2 million signing bonus, while in 2014 Jets safety Calvin Pryor got a four-year, $8.6 million deal with a $4.5 million signing bonus.
The good news for the Colts is that they have their first round pick under contract already, locking him up for four years. Kelly will be the team's starting center from day one this year and the hope is that he will be their long-term starter with Andrew Luck at quarterback, forming a great quarterback/center duo like Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday before them.