Clausen and Tate sign rookie contracts

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News broke today that both Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate have agreed to terms on their rookie contracts and will be in their respective training camps on time.

Clausen’s contract was a four-year deal with $2.53 million in guarantees that could top out at $6.3 million, a somewhat startling number for the 48th pick in the draft. Even more unique, as PFT’s Mike Florio points out, is the fourth-year escalator put into Clausen’s contract, a rarity for a second-round draft pick, giving Jimmy the chance to earn $2.85 million in 2013 alone. Credit Clausen’s agent Gary Wichard for getting a rare boost in the final year of the contract and the Panthers for realizing that not all 48th picks are created equal.

Meanwhile, Tate’s signing with Seattle was much more in line with his slot in the second round. The National Football Post reports that the Biletnikoff winner’s deal was a four-year, $3.261 million deal with $1.471 million guaranteed. To put Tate’s contract in perspective, the Browns signed the 59th pick, Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty, to a four-year $3.372 million deal with $1.572 million guaranteed and the Jets signed UMass tackle Vladimir Ducasse to a four-year $3.225 million deal with $1.435 million guaranteed as the 61st pick. Both Tate’s contract and guaranteed money slide right into place.

While a work stoppage in the NFL and a change to the rookie salary structure is the ultimate wild card, you can’t help but wonder if both Clausen and Tate hurt their causes financially by leaving Notre Dame after three seasons.

(The obvious answer right now is: ABSOLUTELY.)

I don’t think even the biggest skeptic on either Clausen or Tate saw them falling to 48th and 60th in the draft, especially after Golden ran a lightning fast 40-yard-dash, but that leaves Irish fans to imagine what the Notre Dame offense would look like with potentially four preseason first-team All-Americans lining up with Tate, Clausen, Rudolph and Floyd.

Another unfriendly reminder of what could have been…