The Cincinnati Bengals got two of their rookie deals out of the way. Earlier this week, the team finalized contracts with wide receiver John Ross and edge defender Carl Lawson.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) May 7, 2017
Ross set headlines when he ran a 4.22-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, the fastest time ever recorded, edging running back Chris Johnson (4.24s).
In a first round that featured seven offensive skilled positions in the top-10, Ross went ninth overall to Cincinnati. He joined Western Michigan’s Corey Davis (no.5 – Titans) and Clemson’s Mike Williams (no. 7 – Chargers) to go in the top 10. It was the first draft since 2005 to see three receivers taken in the first ten picks.
Ross became the fourth receiver in Bengals’ history to be drafted in the top-10, joining A.J. Green, Peter Warrick, and David Verser.
The Washington product’s four-year, $17.1 million deal includes a $10.6 million signing bonus.
Despite taking defensive end Jordan Willis in the third round, the Bengals could not pass up Lawson when he slipped into round four. The decision was clear for Cincinnati when Youngstown State’s Derek Rivers went 83rd overall to New England.
Lawson fell due to injuries in college, which includes a torn ACL that caused him to miss all of 2014. Overall in 30 games with Auburn, he tallied 67 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, and 14.5 sacks.
He saved his best for last season, racking up a career-high 14.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Furthermore, all but two of his sacks last year came against SEC opponents.
Lawson inked a four-year deal worth over $3 million with a $655,991 signing bonus. He, along with Willis, Will Clarke, and Michael Johnson, are aiming to be quality pass-rushers along with Pro-Bowler Carlos Dunlap.