|Mercilus' deal is reportedly worth $7.6 million over four years. (US Presswire)|
The Texans announced Wednesday night they've signed their first-round pick, linebacker Whitney Mercilus, and according to scout.com, it's a four-year deal worth about $7.6 million. Mercilus was drafted No. 26 overall, and he'll make nearly $4 million as a signing bonus, the report said.
Luckily for Mercilus, he likely won't be counted on to make significant contributions to the defense early in his career, especially as he transitions from the 4-3 defensive end position to the 3-4 outside linebacker spot.
Coming off a phenomenal defensive season under coordinator Wade Philliops, Houston already has J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin, Brian Cushing and Brooks Reed in the front seven. That's a ton of young talent, and all of them have more experience than Mercilus, who led the NCAA with 16 sacks last season.
“We look to continue to grow, and I think he just needs to contribute,” Cushing said recently. “He doesn't need any added pressure of thinking he needs to be a certain player or have 10 sacks or anything like that. He just needs to play football like he can.”
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