Canadian defensive back Benjamin St-Juste has signed his rookie contract with the Washington Football Team, maxing out the potential earnings for a third round pick.
St-Juste was taken 74th overall during the 2021 NFL Draft and signed a four-year contract with Washington. Draft pick contracts are slotted but do have some flexibility. According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, the Montrealer took advantage and negotiated a deal worth $551,118 more than the minimum.
St-Juste is scheduled to earn $5,100,758 over the course of his contract, including a $1,069,640 signing bonus. He’ll earn just $660,000 in base salary as a rookie, but that number grows each year, reaching a peak of $1,355,559 in year four.
Over 50-plus NFL personnel were in attendance representing 31 NFL teams at his University of Minnesota pro day, the only team not there live was the Los Angeles Rams. Two general managers made the trip, Brian Gutekunst from the Green Bay Packers, and Jon Robinson from the Tennessee Titans.
The six-foot-three, 205-pound St-Juste ran a 4.51 forty-yard dash, which is impressive for his size. He also ran a 6.63 three-cone and 3.96 shuttle, both of which are above average. His rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism could aid him in developing at the pro level.
St-Juste started his post-secondary career at Cegep du Vieux in 2016 before transferring to the University of Michigan. He was there for two years before heading to Minnesota as a grad transfer where he played two seasons.
In total, St-Juste dressed for 30 games in the Big 10 and recorded 62 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 13 knockdowns. He was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2019, which helped draw the attention of NFL scouts.
St-Juste was drafted 52nd overall in the sixth round of the 2021 CFL Draft by the Toronto Argonauts, but will likely have employment south of the border for the foreseeable future.