There aren’t many unsigned 2013 draft picks left around the league, although you might not know it from looking at the players selected in the first round.
Only 12 of the 32 first-round selections have signed contracts at this point, leaving open the possibility that some of the early selections will remain unsigned when their teams get to camp. Fourth-overall pick Lane Johnson hopes to avoid that fate.
The Eagles tackle says that he “doesn’t want to hold out” and thinks his deal to get done in the next week or two. The holdup, according to Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com, is the offset language that many teams seek for their first-round picks in order to avoid paying the full freight of a contract for a player that they cut before their rookie deals have expired. While the new CBA has largely streamlined the signing process for rookies, the offset question has allowed teams and players to retain something to fight about.
Neither of the top five picks that have already signed — Jaguars tackle Luke Joeckel and Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah — have offset language and Johnson wants the same for himself.
“I’m just trying to get a similar deal to everyone else,” Johnson said. “I just want to do what everyone else has done, the picks above and below me.”
The Eagles reportedly want offset language, as do the Dolphins in their negotiations with third overall pick Dion Jordan. If Johnson doesn’t sign before Jordan and Miami gets the language, as they did with quarterback Ryan Tannehill last year, it would likely allow the Eagles to be firmer in their demand that Johnson have it as well. That might stretch Johnson’s negotiations out longer than he hopes and leave the Eagles without their prospective right tackle when camp gets underway.