It may have been a foregone conclusion. But Jared Odrick is now officially a professional athlete.
On Thursday, Odrick signed a contract to play professional football for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. In April, the Dolphins made the former Lebanon High standout and Penn State defensive lineman their number-one draft pick and the 28th overall selection in the NFL draft.
The five-year deal is believed to be worth $13 million, with over $7 million of it guaranteed. The contract that Odrick signed is very similar to the one consumated between center Eric Woods, the 28th selection in the 2009 NFL draft, and the Buffalo Bills.
The deal was negotiated by Odrick’s Miami-based agent, Drew Rosenhaus, with the NFL’s draft-slotting pay scale and the uncertaintity of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement taken into consideration. The contract allows Odrick to be on the field when the Dolphins officially open training camp in Davie, Florida on Friday.
“It was very important to Jared to report on time,” Rosenhaus told the Associated Press. “The other day he said to me, ‘Do everything you can so I can report Thursday night for the first meeting.'”
Since being drafted in April, the 6-5, 305-pound Odrick has taken part in all Miami team on-field activities.
In light of veteran defensive end Phillip Merling’s season-ending Achillies Heel injury, Odrick figures to get a shot at starting along the Dolphins’ defensive front.
“There was an added sense of urgency because of the injury to Merling,” Rosenhaus said. “We thought there was chance for Jared to be the starting end.”