In past years, the process of signing draft picks didn’t heat up until after the Fourth of July. This year, more than 200 draft picks already have inked four-year deals.
As of this posting, 32 rookies remain unsigned. Of that amount, 14 were picked in the first round.
None of the top eight picks in the draft have agreed to terms. Browns running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick, has said he’ll wait for the first two selections (Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, III) to sign their deals. Luck’s contract supposedly is close, according to owner Jim Irsay. But that was nearly two weeks ago.
Four of the top eight picks are represented by CAA, and all eight are believed to want fully-guaranteed contracts without so-called “offset language.” The teams are resisting, and no one is blinking, yet.
At No. 20, the Titans and receiver Kendall Wright could be squabbling over whether he’ll get a four-year fully-guaranteed deal, given that the player taken in the 20th spot last year (Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn) received a four-year fully-guaranteed contract, even though the three players taken before him didn’t. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, taken No. 22 in the draft, reportedly wants a fully-guaranteed contract even though the player taken in that slot last year didn’t get four years of fully-guaranteed compensation.
Though it’s too early to worry about training-camp holdouts, the shrinking class of unsigned players only becomes more glaring as more of the unsigned players sign their rookie contracts. It would be a surprise if there isn’t at least one draft pick who fails to make it to training camp on time, regardless of the reality that the vast majority already have ensured their attendance.