Chiefs get largest rookie pool to pay draft picks

Updated: May 7, 2008, 6:58 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Jump In The Pool

The Chiefs were lauded for their draft, and they will get the most rookie pool money to pay those players. Here's the breakdown:

Team
Picks
Pool
KC 12 $8,221,790
ATL 11 $7,918,670
MIA 9 $6,538,400
STL 8 $5,997,510
CHI 12 $5,791,190
CIN 10 $5,555,750
CAR 9 $5,371,570
BUF 10 $5,351,820
BAL 10 $5,045,770
NYJ 6 $4,903,030
DEN 9 $4,877,060
DET 9 $4,815,910
WAS 10 $4,543,890
NE 7 $4,344,990
NO 6 $4,295,240
PHI 10 $4,256,320
OAK 5 $4,119,700
DAL 6 $4,095,120
GB 9 $4,076,190
ARI 7 $3,919,230
TEN 7 $3,822,960
JAX 5 $3,721,960
PIT 7 $3,719,450
TB 7 $3,699,370
SEA 7 $3,674,960
NYG 7 $3,521,820
HOU 6 $3,477,820
SF 6 $3,413,020
IND 9 $3,305,300
SD 5 $2,627,940
MIN 5 $2,055,780
CLE 5 $1,789,980
According to numerous experts, the Kansas City Chiefs had the best draft. Now, they have to pay for those players.

The Chiefs received the highest rookie pool numbers by the NFL, a source said on Wednesday. With 12 draft choices -- two first-rounders taken in the top 15 -- the Chiefs have a rookie pool of $8,221,790, tops in the league. Not only do they have two first-rounders to sign, but they have a second and three thirds.

Even though agents and teams get around the rookie pool with contract escalators, post first-year option bonuses and one-time incentives, the rookie pool was created to somehow slot the signings of draft choices by the position they were selected. Each selection in the draft is given a value, which is a predetermined cap number. All rookies, including undrafted rookies, have to fit within the assigned rookie pool.

The Atlanta Falcons ended up with the second highest total at $7,918,670. They had four selections among the first 68 picks, including two first-rounders. They had six picks in the first 98.

The Miami Dolphins signed Michigan tackle Jake Long to a five-year, $57.75 million deal that had a $3 million cap number. That contract left $3.538,400 for the other eight draft choices, which include two seconds and a third.

The lowest total went to the Cleveland Browns, who had only five choices, none in the first three rounds. Their rookie pool is only $1.789,980 million.

With the fifth overall pick, the Chiefs took LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who some had proclaimed the best player in the 2008 draft.

The Chiefs followed that up by taking Virginia offensive lineman Branden Albert of Virginia with the 15th overall selection. They likely will plug him in at tackle.

In the second round, the Chiefs went back to defense with Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers and picked up Texas running back Jamaal Charles in the third round.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer