ATHENS — The right cornerstone of Georgia’s so-called “Great Wall” completed is NFL paperwork this week, completing the exodus of a haul of talent that won’t soon be forgotten.
Isaiah Wilson, the first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans, reportedly signed a deal worth $11.57 million including a $5.974 million signing bonus earlier this week.
Wilson also was removed from the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list, making for a good week all around for the former UGA right tackle.
“I think the best part of my game is I am physical, and I enjoy beating people up,” Wilson said after the NFL Draft, per Titans veteran beat writer Jim Wyatt.
“I enjoy running the ball, I enjoy trying to essentially break another man’s will. I would say that is my strong suit. … I just want to beat people up (on the football field) and I am looking forward to it. I am ready to work to be the best Titan I can be.”
Former Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas and left guard Solomon Kindley, meanwhile, signed their deals earlier this offseason.
Thomas, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the New York Giants, signed a four-year deal worth $32.345 million with a 21.1 million signing bonus.
Kindley, who like Wilson and Thomas turned pro after his junior season of eligibility, signed a four-year deal worth $4.1 million including a $785,000 signing bonus as a fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins.
For those keeping score at home — something rarely done with offensive linemen, but in this case, appropriate — that’s more than $48 million worth of negotiations and $27.859 million worth of signing bonuses.
It’s an incredible haul for the three Georgia offensive linemen who were part of three consecutive SEC East Division championship teams that went 3-0 vs. Florida, 3-0 vs. Tennessee and 3-1 vs. Auburn in the Bulldogs’ biggest and most important rivalry series.
Around the horn
Other Georgia players in the 2020 NFL Draft also made out well:
• D’Andre Swift signed a four-year deal worth $8.53 million with a signing bonus of $3.77 million
• Jake Fromm signed a four-year deal worth $3.597 million with a $685,740 signing bonus
• Charlie Woerner signed a four-year deal reportedly worth $3.47 million with a $181,032 signing bonus
• Tae Crowder signed a four-year deal worth $3.37 million with a $74,490 signing bonus
NFL rookie salaries and signing bonuses are pre-slotted. Agents negotiate what percentage of money is guaranteed and when the signing bonus is paid out.
There was a time rookies could negotiate their own salaries, free of slotted income.
Former Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford had signed the second-highest rookie deal in history. Stafford, selected first in the 2009 NFL Draft, signed a contract worth $72 million, the richest of its kind at the time.
Joe Burrow, the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, signed a $36.1 million deal by comparison.
The second (and third) contracts are where the big money can be found.
Stafford, now heading into his 12th season with the Lions, signed a five-year deal worth $135 million (92 million guaranteed) last December.
Stafford is currently on the Detroit Lions’ NFL COVID-19 reserve list.
Former Georgia football tight end and current Stafford teammate in Detroit Isaac Nauta was taken off the list.
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