CHARLOTTE – Second-round cornerback Donte Jackson and four other draft picks signed their contracts Thursday upon arrival for this weekend's rookie minicamp at Bank of America Stadium.
Tight end Ian Thomas, defensive end Marquis Haynes, linebacker Jermaine Carter and defensive tackle Kendrick Norton also signed their four-year contracts. Wide receiver DJ Moore – the team's first-round choice – safety Rashaan Gaulden and linebacker Andre Smith still need to sign their rookie deals but are set to take part in the minicamp.
The signing process for drafted rookies has become a virtual formality since a rookie wage scale was established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011. All of the Panthers' seven undrafted rookie free agents have signed their three-year deals: guards Kyle Bosch, Taylor Hearn and Brendan Mahon; quarterback Kyle Allen; running back Reggie Bonnafon; linebacker Chris Frey and defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle.
While rookie contracts have been standard, signing on the dotted line remains a momentous moment. It makes official the accomplishment of each player's NFL dream and signifies the securing of a coveted opportunity in a lucrative profession.