Even though it was a mere formality, the Atlanta Falcons have officially agreed to a four-year, $21.96 million contract with running back Bijan Robinson. All of the money is fully guaranteed and the club will have an option to eventually exercise a fifth-year option, as is customary with every first round selection.
The Falcons selected Robinson with the eighth overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft, making him the highest running back selected since Saquon Barkley in 2018.
Sources: The #Falcons and RB Bijan Robinson have agreed to terms on his four-year, $21.96M rookie contract that is fully guaranteed and also includes a fifth-year option. The No. 8 pick is signing now, as another Top 10 selection is locked in. pic.twitter.com/Lyai4hH7FE— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 11, 2023
Robinson was looked at by some analysts as the best overall player in this draft after he completed a 2022 season at the University of Texas which saw him rack up 1,580 rushing yards on 6.1 yards per carry, 314 receiving yards on 16.5 yards per reception, and 20 total touchdowns.
Bijan’s performance was enough to earn him the highest of individual accolades for a running back, as he was selected as a Unanimous All-American and won the Doak Walker Award given to the nation’s best at his position.
With the salary cap increasing year after year, the pay slot for the eight overall pick has also incrementally increased with each passing season. 2020’s selection at that slot, Arizona’s Isaiah Simmons, signed a four-year, $20.66 million contract. 2021’s Jaycee Horn of the Carolina Panthers signed a four-year, $21.11 million contract. And 2022’s eighth overall pick, Atlanta’s own Drake London, signed a four-year, $21.53 million contract. All of these deals were fully guaranteed.
We do not yet know what the fifth-year option salary number will be for either Horn, London or Robinson. The Cardinals just declined Simmons’ option, which would have been $12.72 million. The hope is that the Falcons will be eager to exercise it after Robinson tears up the league for the next few seasons.