The Seahawks now have two of their top three draft picks under contract. Edge rusher Derick Hall joined Jaxon Smith-Njigba in signing his four-year rookie deal. While the Smith-Njigba deal will not end up affecting others drafted in the same neighborhood, Hall’s will likely play a bigger role in rookies’ negotiations this year.
Hall’s through-2026 pact comes with three years fully guaranteed and $100K guaranteed in the fourth year, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The deal will also pay 85% of Hall’s signing bonus before training camp, which Pelissero notes is a first for a second-rounder. This agreement leaves only No. 5 overall pick Devon Witherspoon and second-round running back Zach Charbonnet as Seattle’s only unsigned draftees.
Chosen 37th overall, Hall is the highest second-round pick to sign this year. This marks the second straight year in which the No. 37 overall pick stands to influence other teams’ structures for second-round contracts. The Texans gave last year’s No. 37 pick, safety Jalen Pitre, three years fully guaranteed, marking an improvement after the 2021 draft saw the No. 34 overall pick represent the cutoff line for such terms. While rookie contracts are less complicated compared to the days before the landscape-reshaping 2011 CBA, second-rounders’ negotiations present some wiggle room.
Hall’s deal figures to influence the structures of the players taken before him in Round 2 — Joey Porter Jr., Will Levis, Sam LaPorta, Michael Mayer, Steve Avila — and agents representing the players chosen shortly after the Seahawks edge rusher will undoubtedly take notice as well. The cutoff line for three fully guaranteed years should be expected to move closer toward the middle of this year’s second round.
Hall wrapped the five-pick haul the Seahawks obtained from the Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade. The four first- or second-round picks from that deal wound up consisting of Charles Cross, Boye Mafe, Witherspoon and Hall. The Seahawks have made a concerted effort to bolster their pass rush over the past two years, selecting Maye and Hall after signing Uchenna Nwosu. They also signed ex-Broncos interior D-lineman Dre’Mont Jones to add punch to their interior rush.
An Auburn alum, Hall totaled nine sacks as a junior and 6.5 as a senior. In that time, he compiled 24 tackles for loss. Scouts Inc. viewed Hall as a considerable reach for Seattle, ranking the 254-pound edge-rushing prospect 66th overall. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah also did not have Hall as a top-50 prospect. The Seahawks have consistently made early-round picks not in line with pre-draft boards, as the Rashaad Penny, L.J. Collier and Jordyn Brooks picks illustrate. They did so again with Hall, who should at least provide rotational rush support as a rookie.