We reported several weeks ago that, when it comes to the offset issue for the contract of linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the Browns would wait and see what happens with other teams in the top 10. Now that both the Dolphins at No. 3 and the Eagles at No. 4 have obtained offset language, look for the Browns to push very hard for the sixth overall pick in the draft to agree to the same term.
As mentioned earlier tonight, the Dolphins moved some money around to reduce the potential impact of the clause that prevents a player who is cut during the life of his guaranteed four-year rookie deal from signing elsewhere and keeping both the money he would have earned from the team that drafted him and the money that his new team is paying him. Offset language means that, for example, if the Eagles eventually cut Lane Johnson with $1 million remaining in guaranteed but unpaid salary, the Eagles would be off the hook for up to $1 million earned elsewhere.
Without offset language, Johnson gets $1 million from the Eagles and whatever his new team pays him.
For Mingo, he’ll have to ask himself the same question that every player who has agreed to accept offset language has confronted: Does securing the ability to get paid twice if things don’t work out with the team that drafted me justify holding out from my first NFL training camp?
The other side of the coin, of course, comes from the negative atmosphere that the team potentially creates by telling a first-round pick, essentially, “We completely believe in you, but we need a little protection in the event we’re dead wrong.”
The Browns, like the Dolphins and Eagles and other teams, have decided that the importance of blocking a future double dip justifies whatever message potentially flows from insisting on offset language. Given the current legal entanglements of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, it’s a bit surprising that the team would risk the bad P.R. that comes from a holdout.
Or, even worse, an offer from Mingo to “rebate” a portion of the guaranteed money.