From picks 14 through 21, 2013 every first-rounder is under contract. Except one.
The Giants and offensive lineman Justin Pugh have yet to work out a deal at No. 19. And things could get interesting between the two sides as training camp approaches.
This year, every contract in front of Pugh is fully guaranteed, for all four years. In fact, the player taken immediately in front of Pugh, 49ers safety Eric Reid, got a fully-guaranteed deal with no offset language.
That’s a change from the last two years, when players in the lower teens received three years guaranteed and only part of the fourth year guaranteed.
It creates the potential for an intriguing showdown between Pugh and the Giants. Pugh is smart; the man who earned a finance degree at Syracuse understands the nuances and the details of player contracts. During a pre-draft visit to PFT Live, for example, he astutely pointed out that it’s better in some respects to go at the top of the second round than at the bottom of round one, since teams hold a fifth-year option over first-round draft picks.
On this point, the difference is whether all of Pugh’s compensation 2016 will be guaranteed, or whether half of it will be guaranteed. Roughly $750,000 is in issue, and Pugh will get the money if the Giants don’t cut him before the roster bonus in that amount comes due in March 2016.
It will all boil down to a battle of wills. Specifically, how willing will the Giants be to piss off Pugh — and how willing will he be to piss of coach Tom Coughlin by holding out?