NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms with rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans Tuesday, the team announced. Evans was selected with the 22nd overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
The wait was over before it ever began.
Evans, one of the latest prospects produced by Nick Saban’s football factory at the University of Alabama, put pen to paper without the fuss or suspense of 2017’s fifth overall pick, wide receiver Corey Davis. Davis waited until Tennessee began its training camp last offseason to sign, causing Titans fans a small degree of offseason consternation.
Evans becomes the third player in Tennessee’s four-man 2018 draft class to sign his deal. Fifth-round defensive back Dane Cruikshank and sixth-round quarterback Luke Falk are both under contract, leaving second-round edge rusher Harold Landry as Tennessee’s lone un-signed drafted rookie.
Due to the NFL’s use of a wage scale for incoming college players, each one drafted receives a four-year deal. Evans will obviously get the biggest sum of the four because of where he was taken, but also has a fifth-year option built into his deal that is exclusive to players selected in the first round.
Rookie contracts are slotted based on where the player’s drafted position. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Evans’s deal is worth $11.6 million, full guaranteed over four years, with a $6.5 million signing bonus.
Titans general manager dealt both the 25th and 125th pick (fourth round) in this year’s draft to the Baltimore Ravens in order to move up to No. 22 and take Evans before other clubs had the opportunity to. Tennessee also received the 215th selection (sixth round) in that exchange.
After four years in Tuscaloosa, Evans earned First Team All-America and First Team All-SEC honors in his senior season; it was his first campaign as a full-time starter for the Tide. The Auburn, Ala. native led his squad with 74 recorded tackles (13 for loss), six sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery en route to a 13-1 finish and 26-23 national championship overtime victory against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Tennessee concluded its three-day rookie minicamp May 13 and begins the first scheduled OTAs on May 21-22.