The Bears and contract negotiator Cliff Stein are one player and one day ahead of themselves from last year.
The Bears announced the signing of five draft picks on May 30 a year ago and did one better in announcing the signing of six draft picks this morning--D.J. Moore, Johnny Knox, Marcus Freeman, Al Afalava, Lance Louis and Derek Kinder. That leaves the top three picks to go--defensive linemen Jarron Gilbert and Henry Melton and wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias.
The six players all received four-year contracts. The base value of the annual salaries for each player is $1.75 million.
Sources have said that the Bears have made it known they want to have all draft picks signed, sealed and delivered by mid-June. That gives Stein a little more than two weeks to accomplish his goal and it would mean all of the business would be wrapped up by the end of OTA's, which conclude June 18. Of course, without first- or second-round picks, getting contracts done is not difficult.
It's not a situation where Stein handled the contracts for all six players today. Negotiations began at least two weeks ago and some deals were essentially in place last week, sources said. The club chose to finalize them this morning and make the announcement at one time.