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Chiefs doing three-year deals for second-day picks

The 2006 revisions to the labor deal between the NFL and its union limit the length of contract for players drafted after the first round to four years.

Previously, some teams were insisting on five-year deals in round two and beyond.  Plenty of players, however, were doing three-year deals in the lower rounds of the draft.

Once the four-year was adopted, however, more and more teams began using four-year contracts, all the way to round seven.

This year, we’ve only spotted five teams using three-year deals in the latter rounds. 

And one of them is one of the least likely to use the shorter terms — the Chiefs.

New G.M. Scott Pioli came from New England, were longer rookie deals were the norm.  But in the first year of the Pioli regime, the three second-day picks that the Chiefs have inked to date signed three-year deals:  tackle Colin Brown, tight end Jake O’Connell, and kicker Ryan Succop.

It’s unclear why the Chiefs have opted not to lock the players up for an extra year.  Since the contracts aren’t guaranteed, the Chiefs could cut a player if, by year four, he hasn’t developed into a long-term contributor.

The only benefit to the team for a shorter deal is that it entails a smaller signing bonus.  But not by much.  In signing Brown (a third-rounder) to a three-year deal, the Chiefs saved about $45,000 in signing bonus money, given the signing bonuses paid to the player taken just in front of him and just behind him, both of whom signed four-year contracts.

The other teams using three-year deals for second-day picks are the Cardinals, Ravens, Lions, and Steelers.

Given that both the Super Bowl champs and the first 0-16 team in league history are doing it, it’s hard to say whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea.

In our view, it makes sense to tie the guy up for a fourth year, since it eliminates the season of restricted free agency under the current CBA.  (Of course, the system of restricted free agency could change dramatically or disappear by the time the fourth year of the current rookie deals arrive.)

Regardless, we assume that the teams who are using shorter deals are doing it for a reason.  For the better organizations, it’s likely a good reason.  For the Lions, chances are it’s a bad reason — or no reason at all.

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6 Responses to “Chiefs doing three-year deals for second-day picks”
  1. eaglealan64 says: Jul 26, 2009 4:38 PM

    “The 2006 revisions to the labor deal between the NFL and its union limit the length of contract for players not drafted after the first round to four years.”
    I assume it should be “players drafted after the first round” – think you have an extra *not* in there.

  2. BigWalt says: Jul 26, 2009 5:15 PM

    Might have something to do with the possible lockout coming up.

  3. ScottyG says: Jul 26, 2009 5:22 PM

    Just couldn’t resist the cheap shot at the end eh’ Florio. Maybe the Lions know what they’re doing for once. Maybe Martin Mayhew actually learned a thing or two from the porn-stashed goon, aka the worst gm of all time, aka Mr. 31 and 84 (upset I can’t capitalize numbers right now), aka Matt Melon.
    We know what’s up here in MI. Don’t worry, you’ll get the memo soon enough. With the Swartzingham D and Scott Linehan’s ever evolving and unpredictable offense….not to mention the infusion of young and vet tallent (Stafford, Petigrew, Delmas and company are the rooks to watch and don’t sleep on new, best LB trio in the league), look for the Leo’s to make the playoff’s NEXT year and your sad attempts at humor to cease even sooner….directed at the Lions anyway.

  4. aikman8 says: Jul 26, 2009 7:17 PM

    hey scottyg … sit down and shut up. 0-16 buddy. obviously you DON’T know what is up up there in michigan.
    0-16. the comments come with the territory, deal with it. 0-16!

  5. BigWalt says: Jul 26, 2009 10:33 PM

    aikman, STFU. Nice using the same drag on the Lions, that’s been used an estimated 153,239 times. You’re original man. Keep it up, you frickin drone, must be easy to root for a team with 5 superbowls, YOU have ZERO character. As for an optimistic ScottyG, we’ll see what happens, let’s just leave it at that(I am extremely optimistic too). Let’s remain more intelligent than someone who likes to kick a Professional, team when they’re down. (nice the Cowboys didn’t come along until 1960) Detroit Lions have been Detroit Lions since 1934.

  6. faulkn22 says: Jul 28, 2009 7:08 AM

    You should probably kick the 0-16 team while they were 0-16. It’s hard to call the team anything considering they have new management, new coaching staff, new coordinators, new schemes, new logos, new jerseys, about 50% of last years roster was cut. Who knows what kind of team they are? Aikman up there sure doesn’t.
    One thing is for sure, all fans of the NFL should respect Lions fans… We’re the only surefire fan that is in this league. The rest could be considered bandwagon fans to be honest. Ex, all the Pats fans that magically showed up around their Super Bowl runs. Where were those losers at when the Pats needed them in the 90’s and before?
    I’m damn proud to be a Lions fan, and you sir just look like some hick fool from Texas. Now, you go stroke your e-peen to Aikman and we’ll talk football, tool.

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