Four members of the Seahawks' 2012 draft class signed new contracts in the last week, making that class now worth almost a quarter-of-a-billion dollars.

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It’s been old news for a while now that the Seattle Seahawks’ 2012 draft was franchise-changing and probably the best in team history.

Events of the last few days — as four players from that draft signed new contracts — only reinforced that thought while raising another question.

Specifically, has any NFL draft class ever earned so much money?

The Seahawks drafted 10 players that year, a class that memorably didn’t generate a lot of enthusiasm at the time (Mel Kiper Jr., to name one, gave the class an initial grade of C-minus).

Four years later, six of the draft picks have been handed lucrative second contracts, pretty much the biggest status symbol of success for a player in the NFL.

Two signed new deals last summer with the Seahawks — QB Russell Wilson and MLB Bobby Wagner.

That the draft yielded a franchise player at two of the most pivotal positions in the sport would have been enough to have it declared a success.

But before the first day of NFL free agency was over, four more picks from that draft had signed pretty big second contracts — CB Jeremy Lane with the Seahawks, DL Jaye Howard with the Chiefs, OL J.R. Sweezy with the Bucs and LB Bruce Irvin with the Raiders. That Irvin and Sweezy got away from Seattle may make that fact somewhat bittersweet for Seahawks fans. Still, it speaks to the astute drafting the team did that year in putting together a group of players that helped lead to the Super Bowl title the following season.

Here’s a look at the salaries of each in order of where they were drafted:

Irvin, first round (15th pick overall): $39 million total, $17 million guaranteed

Wagner, second round (47): $43 million, $22 million guaranteed

Wilson, third round (75): $87 million, $61.5 guaranteed.

Howard, fourth round (114): $12 million, $8.3 million guaranteed.

Lane, sixth round (172): $23 million, $11 million guaranteed.

Sweezy, seventh round (225): $32.5 million, $14.5 million guaranteed.

(The other four members of that draft class were RB Robert Turbin, LB Korey Toomer, S Winston Guy and DE Greg Scruggs. Guy is under contract with the Colts and Toomer is with the Raiders while the other two are free agents).

The totals of the six second contracts above — all signed since last July — works out to $236.5 million. The guarantees listed above, often considered the more telling sign of the validity of contracts, adds up to $133.3 million. Add receiver Jermaine Kearse, who joined the team in 2012 as an undrafted free agent, and the tally only grows higher. Kearse signed late Thursday for $13.5 million, with $6.3 million guaranteed. Throwing him in would bring the total to $250 million total, and the guarantee to basically $140 million.

Since the salary cap continues to rise, comparisons are a little tricky. And I haven’t done the research around the league to check every draft class of every other team. But it’s hard to imagine too many other draft classes have at any point been worth basically a quarter-of-a-billion dollars.

Seattle’s 2010 draft class also featured three players who have gotten big second contracts — WR Golden Tate ($31 million total), S Kam Chancellor ($35 million) and S Earl Thomas ($40 million) as well as OL Russell Okung, who got $48.5 million when he signed in what was the last draft class before slotted contracts for rookies, and is likely to get another pretty big deal.

But even using Okung’s initial deal and that total of $154.5 million doesn’t come close to what the 2012 draft class is now getting.

The player above many Seattle fans may have forgotten about is Howard.

Howard, who played two games for the Seahawks in 2012 and then was waived in the final cutdown before the season in a year when Seattle was almost historically deep on its defensive line.

The Seahawks that year kept on their defensive line Chris Clemons, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Red Bryant, Cliff Avril, O’Brien Schofield, D’Anthony Smith, Benson Mayowa, Jordan Hill and Michael Bennett. The one they’d probably regret now is keeping Smith as theoretically the last tackle instead of Howard (the Seahawks also cut Clint McDonald at the same time but then were able to get him back a week later).

Pete Carroll talked about Howard at the NFL combine saying “he’s one of those ones that got away, so we regret that.’’

Ultimately, Howard was also one of those who got paid, like almost everybody else in what may long be remembered as one of the best and richest draft classes in Seahawks history.