Kirkpatrick is latest 1st-rounder to sign. (AP)
Following first-rounders Stephon Gilmore and Quinton Coples, who signed with the Bills and Jets on Friday, the Bengals' top pick, cornerback Dre Kirpatrick, is the latest to ink his rookie contract, the team has announced. It's a four-year deal (as is the case for all first-round picks under the new CBA) that reports will pay him $8.6 million ($7.84 million of which is guaranteed, according to PFT).

Cincinnati selected Kirpatrick 17th overall in last month's draft (he was the third cornerback off the board after Morris Claiborne and Gilmore) and he'll get every opportunity to win the starting job opposite Leon Hall. They'll be joined by veterans Nate Clements, Pacman Jones, and offseason additions Terence Newman and Jason Allen.

The Bengals have had success with their first-round cornerbacks in recent years. In 2006, they took Johnathan Joseph at No. 24, and a year later, they doubled down with Hall at No. 18. Joseph was one of the Texans' best players a year ago, and Hall had emerged as one of the league's top corners until an Achilles injury derailed his 2011 season.  

While the new CBA isn't perfect, we can all agree on this: the rookie wage scale means that holdouts are a thing of the past. Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner writes that the Kirkpatrick signing is the earliest for the Bengals dating back to 2003 when Carson Palmer was the first-overall pick. And head coach Marvin Lewis is excited to have one less thing to worry about heading into the summer.

“Contracts can be a distraction for young guys drafted high," he said. "But now he can put all that behind him and focus on making himself better."

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