Projecting first-round salaries in AFC East

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
5:52
PM ET
Now that the draft picks are in, it's time to look foward to signing this year's rookie class. Due to the rookie wage scale, working out multi-year agreements with first-year players have never been easier in the NFL. Holdouts have been reduced to virtually zero now that all draft picks are slotted for a certain salary under the collective bargaining agreement.

How much will this year's first-round picks make?

For perspective, here is a look at last year's draft picks. Keep in mind that all 2013 agreements could be slightly higher than last year’s.

DE Dion Jordan, Miami Dolphins

Pick: No. 3 overall

2012 pick: RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns

Contract: four years, $20.4 million

Thoughts: The Miami Dolphins traded up to get to the No. 3 spot and selected Jordan. As a result, the Dolphins will have to pay top-three money that will average more than $5 million per season. The expectation is that Jordan will develop into a Pro Bowl player for the Dolphins. If that’s the case, he will be well worth the money.

CB Dee Milliner, New York Jets

Pick: No. 9

2012 pick: LB Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers

Contract: Four years, $12.58 million

Thoughts: The Jets are pretty tight on the salary cap and have two rookie first-round picks. Milliner will be the bigger contract. But it will be a bargain if Milliner becomes the cornerback the Jets expect and can adequately replace Darrelle Revis. Milliner will get about $13 million over the next four seasons. For comparison, Revis will make $16 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next season alone.

DL Sheldon Richardson, Jets

Pick: No. 13

2012 pick: WR Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals

Contract: Four years, $10 million

Thoughts: Richardson is the second of two draft picks for the Jets. New York has a tight cap, but Richardson will be slightly more affordable than Milliner.

QB EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills

Pick: No. 16

2012 pick: DE Quinton Coples, Jets

Contract: Four years, $9 million

Thoughts: The Bills received a lot of criticism for taking Manuel No. 16 overall. Many feel it was a reach and some, like ESPN draft expert Todd McShay, even called it “a waste” of the draft pick. But the Bills will get a very affordable quarterback if he develops into a franchise starter. Buffalo will pay Manuel a little over $9 million over the next four years. If Manuel doesn’t pan out, it will have major implications on the football field, but it won’t impact Buffalo’s salary cap all that much.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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