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Skelton Under Contract

Quarterback, still working in Tempe, signs four-year deal


Fifth-round pick John Skelton (19) signed a four-year contract Wednesday.

John Skelton stayed behind.

The Cardinals' fifth-round draft pick and a potential quarterback of the future was on hand to sign his new four-year contract Wednesday because he didn't leave Tempe last week like the other rookies.

"I figured being a quarterback you need to put in that extra work to do everything you can to put yourself in a position to play," Skelton said. "At the same time, I don't feel like going back to El Paso is beneficial to me right now."

Contract terms were not announced, although Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reported the deal was worth $1.97 million with a signing bonus of around $182,000. To make room for Skelton on the roster, the Cardinals released safety Herana-Daze Jones.

Skelton wanted to keep his head in football as opposed to hanging out with friends with training camp so close, although he will return to New York – where he attended college at Fordham – for a few days to get a short break.

Then Skelton will fight with undrafted rookie Max Hall to stick behind Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson on the active roster.

Skelton still has the advantage because the team spent a pick on him, and traded cornerback Bryant McFadden in order to make sure they could get him. Both Hall and Skelton are practice-squad eligible, although it seems unlikely Skelton would be able to get past waivers.

Quarterbacks coach Chris Miller said earlier this offseason Skelton would likely need a couple of seasons to prepare himself for the NFL game, but Skelton hasn't contemplated his own timeline yet.

"I go by based on how comfortable I feel and when that will come," Skelton said. "Just this offseason, from the first minicamp to now everyone leaving and me kind of staying behind, I've learned a lot. I have gone through the playbook and know it pretty well, although I wouldn't say I am an expert in it.

"Once I am entirely comfortable, that's when I'll start setting goals when I can play."

The Cardinals still have their top four draft picks unsigned. In order from the fourth-round up, they are linebacker O'Brien Schofield, wide receiver Andre Roberts, linebacker Daryl Washington and nose tackle Dan Williams.

"Talking with the other guys, we were growing impatient (to sign)," Skelton said with a smile. "We were waiting for it going through the workouts and kept asking each other, 'Have you heard anything?' Last week when signed I was like, 'Let's get this ball rolling.' "

Rookies are scheduled to report to Tempe for training camp July 29, with check-in at training camp in Flagstaff July 30.

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