Former Area College Stars Still Looking for NFL Deals

Friday, July 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

By Sean

With less than two weeks left until National Football League training camps begin to open, less than half of “Big Four” college draftees have signed contracts.

Among those unsigned by their respective pro teams are three of the four picks from day one of April’s draft. Only former Arkansas safety Kenoy Kennedy has inked a deal.

Kennedy recently signed with Denver after being picked in the second round. The ex-Razorback gets one and a quarter million dollars in signing bonus. His annual salary averages about $400,000 per year for five years. Kennedy is expected to see time as a backup safety and maybe even compete for a starting role with former Sooner Darius Johnson.

The area’s only first round pick, Ex-Oklahoma lineman Stockard McDougle, still has not signed with Detroit. The Lions said they drafted McDougle to be an instant impact starter, and hope he’ll sign soon. His situation is not unusual, less than one-third of this year’s first-rounders have signed as of July, 7th.

Ex-Sooner William Bartee remains unsigned after being drafted in the second round. Kansas City is negotiating with the cornerback who should get playing time this year in an aging secondary. The good news for Bartee is that Chiefs draft picks below him are slowly beginning to sign contracts.

St. Louis has still not inked the other first day, area draftee. Ex-Oklahoma State cornerback Jacoby Shepherd is still waiting to sign. Like first-rounders, not many second-rounders have signed yet. Shepherd has company in another group of players-yet-to-be-signed. His new team, the world champion Rams, haven’t inked a single draftee.

Among those from this area who have signed is ex-Cowboy receiver Ethan Howell. Howell got three years for $845,000 from Washington. Look for him to work with the developmental squad for at least this year.

Ex-Razorback cornerback David Barrett has signed with Arizona. Barrett, a fourth-rounder, gets a sweet deal for his draft position, five years for nearly three-and-a-half million dollars. He could play in nickel situations this year.

The only other “Big Four” player to sign is Emanuel Smith. The former Razorback wide receiver signed a two-year deal with Jacksonville for $500,000. He should suffer the same fate as Howell and travel with the developmental team.

Three other area draftees have yet to sign with their respective clubs. Ex-Razorback wideout Anthony Lucas is still working out a deal with Green Bay as their fifth-round pick. His former teammate, offensive guard Bobby Williams, is still looking for a deal as Philadelphia’s third-round selection. The only ex-Tulsa player drafted, cornerback Todd Franz, is in the same boat as McDougle. The Lions have not reached a deal with the fifth-rounder.

All NFL camps begin between July 14th and July 20th.

Sean Mossman is a content editor and staff writer for His specialty is local sports. Any questions, comments or story ideas can be e-mailed to All story ideas must include a name and phone number.