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Jay Ward signs his rookie contract with the Vikings

He’s the first draft pick to sign

LSU v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

UPDATE: I was mistaken. Jay Ward is the second Vikings’ draft pick to sign his rookie contract. At some point I missed the Jaquelin Roy contract signing. My apologies for the error, and congratulations to Jaquelin Roy on signing his rookie deal as well!

Original story follows.

Since the advent of the rookie salary slotting system, we’ve seen teams around the NFL sign their draft picks much earlier than we had been used to seeing waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in, like, the early 2000s. On Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings had the first of their six draft choices put pen to paper on their first NFL contract.

Per Aaron Wilson, LSU safety Jay Ward has signed his rookie contract. The deal is a four-year deal with $4.493 million, which includes a signing bonus of $653,544.

Ward was drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round of last month’s draft, and he brings versatility to the Minnesota secondary. He got starts at LSU at both safety and cornerback and, with the issues the Vikings had in the secondary last season, he should get an early chance to make a contribution to Brian Flores’ new defense.

The Vikings have five more draft picks left to get signed, and as they do so we’ll bring the news of it to you.

Welcome to Minnesota, Jay, and congratulations on signing your first NFL contract!