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Davis agrees, club close to signing draftees [Updated]

The Dolphins have locked up first round draft pick Vontae Davis. Sort of.

The cornerback selected No. 25 overall out of Illinois has agreed to a five-year deal, according to a team source. He is expected to sign the deal later today or Saturday morning. The Dolphins will announce the signing once Davis puts his John Hancock on the dotted line.

The Dolphins have been quietly confident for several days that their remaining unsigned draft picks would be signed before the coming weekend is out. That's good because training camp opens Sunday with a 2 p.m. practice.

And Thursday went a looong way toward helping the deals get done.

Even as the team and the agents for Davis and Pat White were negotiating, the players picked both just ahead and just behind the Miami rookies in their respective rounds agreed to deals with other teams.

What did that mean to Miami and it's rookies?


Whatever final language needs to be hashed out, whatever final i needs to be dotted or t needs to be crossed will likely be done in the next couple of days and perhaps as early as Friday. This, of course, barring a last-minute meltdown by some lawyer involved in reading the deals.

On Thursday, Peria Jerry, drafted No. 24 in the first round by Atlanta, agreed to a five-year deal. Linebacker Clay Matthews, drafted No. 26 overall by Green Bay, also agreed to a five-year deal. That led directly to the Davis deal late Thursday night.

Although exact contract details are not yet available, the Davis deal is believed worth between $10-$10.5 million before incentives and escalator clauses. The guaranteed money should be in the $7.2-$7.6 million neighborhood, which is a very nice neighborhood where folks smile and garbage pickup is always prompt.

[Update: The subject of leverage has come to my mind and, with Davis, the Dolphins hold much of the leverage should it come into play. The fact is the Dolphins have a starting cornerback spot open. The fact is three players are expected to compete for that job. The fact is Sean Smith and Eric Green, two of those candidates, are signed and will be at camp on Sunday. The fact is Davis needs to be there also if he doesn't want to fall behind the other two -- with the gap between them increasing with every practice Davis misses.

[Davis didn't want to fall behind.] 

Thursday also marked the signing of linebacker Clint Sintim with the New York Giants. Sintim, the 45th player taken overall, signed a four-year deal. Defensive end Everette Brown, selected 43rd overall by Carolina, has also signed a four-year deal. White was selected No. 44 overall.

How long do you think White's contract will run? Do I hear four years?

And it also should be done before Sunday's first practice and as early as Friday. The sides were haggling over language Friday morning but it is close to completion. That contract will come in at slightly above $4 million.

The Dolphins have one more unsigned player -- safety Chris Clemons, a fifth-round selection. Everyone else in the fifth round has signed and the two players picked before and behind Clemons signed four-year contracts. The Dolphins have had a four-year offer to Clemons on the table for days.

Educated guess here: He'll agree to a deal by Sunday and probably earlier than that.