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Jadeveon Clowney signs earliest No. 1 contract since 2009

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Jadeveon Clowney's signed earlier than any No. 1 pick since 2009.
Jadeveon Clowney is happy to sign early. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: League minicamp dates | Latest news, notes

The Texans have officially signed Jadeveon Clowney, having announced it on Friday afternoon.

Does this feel early to you for the No. 1 pick to be signed? It should. We know the new CBA means rookies get signed faster, but this is ridiculously early.

No. 1 draft picks' signing dates -- last 10 years
YearPickTeamDate signed
2014Jadeveon ClowneyHouston TexansJune 6
2013Eric FisherKansas City ChiefsJuly 26
2012Andrew LuckIndianapolis ColtsJuly 19
2011Cam NewtonCarolina PanthersJuly 30
2010Sam BradfordSt. Louis RamsJuly 30
2009Matt StaffordDetroit LionsApril 25 (pre draft)
2008Jake LongMiami DolphinsApril 22 (pre draft)
2007JaMarcus RussellOakland RaidersSept 11
2006Mario WilliamsHouston TexansApril 29 (day of draft)
2005Alex SmithSan Francisco 49ersJuly 27

We were amazed when Andrew Luck (Colts, 2012) inked his deal on July 19, beating out Cam Newton's previous new-CBA record of July 30. And Eric Fisher of the Chiefs wasn't far behind with his July 26 signing.

Clowney blows them all out of the water, inking with Houston on June 6, which represents the earliest signing of the new CBA era and the quickest signing since 2009.

On that: Several of the old-CBA first picks were taken care of before the draft. But that was under a salary structure that paid unproven players in funny money. Matthew Stafford landed a six-year, $72 million deal when he signed with the Lions on April 25. Of course he signed early.

Same with Jake Long and the Dolphins (although the Fins passed on Matt Ryan at the time) and Mario Williams with the Texans (signability was a major factor in this case).

As always, JaMarcus Russell is the biggest draft punchline. The former LSU standout held out until SEPTEMBER and still got a then-record $68 million deal from the Raiders, who finally paid it off in 2013.

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