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Titans, Lewan likely fighting over roster bonuses

Lewan AP

Only two first-round picks haven’t signed their rookie contracts.  And for the second straight year, the Titans are one of the last teams to agree to terms with a first-round rookie.

Tackle Taylor Lewan, the eleventh pick in the draft, has yet to work out a contract.  Based on the deals done in 2013, it’s likely that Lewan hopes to replace his fully-guaranteed base salaries in all four years with, for 2015 through 2017, roster bonuses paid out early in training camp.  Regarded as the next best thing to the removal of language that credits the original team with salary earned from a future employer, roster bonuses earned early in training camp give players non-refundable cash in hand, in the unlikely event that the team decides at some point after the start of training camp in any future year of the deal to cut a first-round draft pick.

Last year, Chargers tackle D.J. Fluker didn’t get roster bonuses as the eleventh pick in the draft.  This year, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t get roster bonuses as the twelfth overall pick.  Lewan presumably wants roster bonuses — especially since teammate Chance Warmack ultimately got roster bonuses as the tenth pick in 2013.

Lewan likely will become the team’s left tackle.  Warmack plays interior offensive line.  It makes sense for Lewan to want the same structure as Warmack — especially since Warmack’s status as a top-10 pick puts him in line for a much higher fifth-year salary than Lewan.  By rule, Warmack will be paid in 2017 the average of the 10 highest-paid offensive lineman in 2016.  Lewan will get in 2018 the average of No. 3 through No. 25 in 2017.

Last year, the Titans didn’t work out a contract with Warmack until he missed several training camp practices.  It could be that neither side blinks on Lewan’s deal until the rookie has held out for one or more days or work when the team reconvenes next month.

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7 Responses to “Titans, Lewan likely fighting over roster bonuses”
  1. gpenpilot says: Jun 30, 2014 11:07 PM

    Big Lew is going to be a nasty player no doubt in my mind.. but he seems like the worst kind of person. Attitude is very Incognito-esque

  2. dodohead418 says: Jun 30, 2014 11:09 PM

    This already screams cut him. If you aren’t happy that you are making large amount of money in the NFL, then you deserve to be cut.

  3. stonegossardstyle says: Jun 30, 2014 11:13 PM

    That kid is likely to be at odds with a lot of things in the NFL. Stay tuned. He’s got quite the past.

  4. atntitan says: Jun 30, 2014 11:48 PM

    We need this solved. This pick is for houstons watt clowney combo. Oher roos and lewan all stout and readily available. Sankey is the sleeper running back for fantasy. The cancers cj and britt r gone(and i liked them both at one time)Stop the doubt….#TITAN UP!!!

  5. tecmobowl34 says: Jul 1, 2014 1:41 AM

    unlike some other unsigned divas from the first round (Gilbert cough cough) this guy just brings a nasty lunch-pale to practice every day. High motor maulerTitans need to give the guy what he waants and fix that line,,

  6. titansbro says: Jul 1, 2014 8:04 AM

    It’ll get done, no need to worry. Kid ain’t starting right away anyway due to the inexplicable contract given to Mike Oher.

  7. whenwilliteverend says: Jul 1, 2014 8:43 AM

    This would concern me if I were a GM. A guy wants his entire salary up front in the form of a non-refundable roster bonus? So what incentive is there to play hard. This would give these guys the ‘contract-year’ syndrome in which they only put forth any effort when it’s a contract year. I’m not completely convinced this guy can play LT in the NFL and maybe he knows it which is why he wants all his money up front every year. Personally, I’m not a big fan of guaranteed money because look at baseball. I was a Reds fan when they had Eric Davis. He only played when it was a contract year so he would sign a three- or four-year contract and do basically nothing the first two or three years then he’d come out and go crazy when it was a contract year so he could sign another ‘big’ contract. Not everyone in the NFL is like that but there are enough that it should be a concern. Guaranteeing someone he’ll be paid the average of no. 3-25 without having stipulations regarding incentive bonuses is a sucker’s bet.

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