That didn’t take long. Just a few hours after the AAF announced it would allow players to start signing NFL contracts effective immediately, two players have already inked deals.
The Chiefs are signing cornerback Keith Reaser, while the Panthers have added receiver Rashad Ross, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). In a separate tweet, Schefter notes that Reaser is getting $100K upfront guaranteed in the form of various bonuses. That’s a significant chunk of change, and indicates Kansas City likely had competition for Reaser’s services.
Reaser comes from the Orlando Apollos, the team coached by Steve Spurrier that had the best regular season record before the AAF suspended operations. Ross comes from the Arizona Hotshots, and was one of the best players in the league before it shut down. He had multiple huge games, and was dominating AAF defenses.
Reaser spent parts of the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Chiefs, so there’s some familiarity there. He was originally drafted by the 49ers in the fifth round back in 2014. He spent most of the 2017 season on the practice squad, and was released with an injury settlement early last season. Ross was a 2013 undrafted free agent, who received his most run with the Redskins back in 2015 when he returned kicks and caught eight passes for 184 yards. The Arizona State product was with the Cardinals for part of last offseason, but hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since 2016.
The two are likely the first of many who will sign NFL contracts in the coming days and weeks. While the league was ultimately unsuccessful, it clearly was helpful to a good number of players in getting them back on NFL radars. Reaser has already landed more than an AAF salary, and there will surely be more to follow.