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Himmelman tops Denver's undrafted rookies in signing bonus, guarantee

Iowa tight end Shaun Beyer is next in guaranteed money while North Carolina A&T cornerback Mac McCain III got the second-best signing bonus.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Follow the money and Drew Himmelman figures to have the best chance to continue the Broncos’ undrafted rookie run of making the team’s season-opening roster.

Himmelman, a 6-foot-9 offensive tackle from the same Illinois State program that produced Shelby Harris, garnered a $25,000 signing bonus and $150,000 total guarantee, top figures among the Broncos’ 11 undrafted rookies.

It should be pointed out roster spots are too valuable to be influenced by a $25,000 signing bonus. Defensive lineman Marquiss Spencer, the last of the Broncos’ three seventh-round draft picks, got an $81,396 signing bonus plus a four-year contract.

Vic Fangio and George Paton, not five-figure signing bonuses, will determine roster spots. And Himmelman may be a stronger practice-squad candidate considering the Broncos are now deep at offensive tackle with Garett Bolles, Bobby Massie, Cameron Fleming and Calvin Anderson.

But signing bonuses and guarantees do measure what Broncos’ football management think of each undrafted player before he starts practicing with the team during OTAs and training camp.

>> Video above: Mike Klis on Day 1 of Broncos OTAs

The Broncos have had an undrafted rookie make their season-opening roster in 17 of the past 18 seasons. Tyler Polumbus, Wesley Woodyard, C.J. Anderson and, more recently, Alexander Johnson, Phillip Lindsay and Essang Bassey were among the undrafted gems.

Sometimes those undrafted rookies got relatively decent signing bonuses compared to the rest of their undrafted class. And then there was cornerback Chris Harris Jr., who got a mere $2,000 signing bonus as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas in 2011. Harris became one of the best cornerbacks in Broncos’ history.

So fear not, Devontres Dukes.

In recent years, NFL teams have been guaranteeing a portion of salaries as an advance against practice squad salaries, which are up to $9,200 a week this year, or $165,600 over an 18-week season.

9News has obtained the signing bonuses, guaranteed salary portion and total guarantee for the Broncos’ 10 undrafted rookies:

Player, Pos., College ………… Bonus … Salary guarantee … Total guar

Drew Himmelman, OT, ISU …. $25,000 ….…….… $125,000 ….. $150,000

Shaun Beyer, TE, Iowa ……...  $15,000 ….………. $110,000 ….. $125,000

Andre Mintze, OLB, Vandy ….. $15,000 ….………. $70,0000 ….... $85,000

Warren Jackson, WR, CSU …. $10,000 …….……... $50,000 ….... $60,000

Mac McCain III, CB, NC A&T … $20,000 ………….. $30,000 ….… $50,000

Curtis Robinson, ILB, Stan ….... $10,000 ……..…… $30,000 ….…. $40,000

Nolan Laufenberg, OG, AFA ….. $10,000 ………….. $15,000 …..... $25,000

Adam Prentice, FB, SC .………. $10,000 ……….… $10,000 ….….. $20,000

Branden Mack, WR, Temple …... $5,000 ……………… N/A …...…... $5,000

Devontres Dukes, WR, SFla ….. $1,000 ……………… N/A ......….… $1,000

(Note: Undrafted rookie punter Max Duffy was signed this week to a standard contract after winning a tryout and was not privy to the signing bonus recruiting process following the draft on May 1. Also, the Broncos gave a $3,000 signing bonus to Georgia Tech inside linebacker David Curry who was waived a day after rookie minicamp.)

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