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H. Johnson First Draftee To Sign

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Rookie Herman Johnson (67), here speaking with teammate Donovan Raiola, signed a three-year contract Tuesday.

Maybe it has something to do with the fifth round.

For the second straight year, the first draft pick to sign with the Cardinals is their fifth-round selection – this year, tackle Herman Johnson out of Louisiana State University. Johnson signed the usual three-year contract Tuesday, with financial terms not disclosed by the team.

Last year's fifth-round pick, running back Tim Hightower, also was the first from his draft class to sign. Hightower's deal was worth about $1.28 million.

Johnson, at 6-foot-7 and 370 pounds, is the biggest Cardinal. He played guard in college but the coaching staff is working him mostly at tackle for now. The hope is, at his size, Johnson can eventually become a solid contributor.

The Cardinals are in the midst of various contract negotiations. Even with Johnson signed, the team still has seven draft picks left after two seventh-round selections. It's expected that many of the lower second-day picks – seventh-rounders LeRod Stephens-Howling and Trevor Canfield, sixth-rounder Will Davis and fourth-rounder Greg Toler – will be the next to get under contract.

The Cardinals are also trying to hammer out details on an extension with Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson and continuing to talk to linebacker Karlos Dansby about an extension of his own.


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 6/2/09.

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