Quarterback Joey Harrington joined the Detroit Lions on Tuesday as the advent of training camps helped speed up contract talks for the top picks in April's NFL draft.
Harrington, the third overall pick, signed for about $36.5 million over six years, according to a football source who requested anonymity.
He practiced one day after the No. 2 selection - defensive end Julius Peppers - agreed with the Carolina Panthers on a seven-year, $50 million deal, including incentives.
That's generally the way things go in the signing rush right when training camps open: Agents for high draft picks wait for earlier picks to sign and set the market.
Harrington is expected to compete with second-year quarterback Mike McMahon for the starting job with the Lions, who finished 2-14 last season, the first for team president Matt Millen and coach Marty Mornhingweg. But because they drafted Harrington so high, the Lions clearly want him to win the job quickly.
The Lions also signed their second-round choice, linebacker Kalimba Edwards, the 35th overall pick.
Peppers will play an important role for Carolina, 1-15 last season - he is expected to disrupt opposing offenses.
His 15 sacks at North Carolina were one short of Lawrence Taylor's school record. The Panthers' new coach is John Fox, who was defensive coordinator of the Giants last season when Michael Strahan set an NFL single-season record with 22 1/2 sacks.
Most first-round draft picks wait until just before training camp to sign and some will probably miss a few days.
The top pick, quarterback David Carr, signed with expansion Houston the day he was chosen.
The 31st overall selection, linebacker Robert Thomas, joined the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday, and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a five-year, $6.4 million contract with defensive back Mike Rumph, who was taken with the 27th pick.
Rumph signed in time to join his teammates for an afternoon practice Tuesday at the University of the Pacific on the 49ers' second day of training camp.
First-rounders who signed earlier include tight end Daniel Graham of New England (the 21st pick), defensive end Bryan Thomas of the New York Jets (22nd), and linebacker Napoleon Harris of Oakland (23rd).
Other rookies signing Tuesday included wide receiver Deion Branch, New England's second-round pick; fullback Verron Haynes and defensive end Brett Keisel, Pittsburgh's fifth- and seventh-round choices; and tight end Terry Jones Jr., Baltimore's fifth-round pick.
Among other players agreeing to terms Tuesday was running back Terry Allen, a free agent who's with the New Orleans Saints for the second time. He will back up Deuce McAllister.
The 34-year-old Allen also has played for Minnesota, Washington, New England and Baltimore during a career that began in 1990 with the Vikings as a ninth-round draft choice. He has overcome numerous injuries to keep playing at an age when most running backs have long retired.
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