Guarantees holding up Jabrill Peppers deal

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Five of the top 10 picks in the draft remain unsigned. The 22 picks after that are all signed, with the exception of two.

Taken consecutively at No. 24 and No. 25, the unsigned first-rounders beyond the top 10 are Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley and Browns safety Jabrill Peppers.

The reason for Conley’s lack of a contract is obvious; he’s the subject of an unresolved sexual assault investigation in Ohio. So why is Peppers the only first-round pick beyond the top 10 other than Conley who isn’t signed?

Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the amount of the guaranteed money is one of the primary terms holding up the deal.

A fairly broad range has been set by the players taken at No. 26 (Falcons defensive end Tak McKinley) and at No. 23 (Giants tight end Evan Engram), with full guarantees for the first three years and a fourth-year guarantee of $655,000 for McKinley and $1.55 million for Engram. That’s a $900,000 spread in fourth-year guaranteed money over three picks; without the benefit of Conley being under contract, Peppers doesn’t have a direct, practical ceiling on his guaranteed money.

Another problem could be that last year’s 25th overall pick, Steelers cornerback Artie Burns, received in the fourth year of his contract not a partial salary guarantee but an $800,000 roster bonus due on the third day of training camp. Peppers, based on that precedent, may be pushing for the same thing, even though the players taken directly ahead of Burns and directly behind Burns didn’t get it.

None of this means that a deal won’t be done before the start of training camp. But with Peppers missing the first day of his rookie minicamp due to an issue with the standard letter of protection, it makes sense to keep an eye on what happens with this issue over the next couple of weeks.

Holdouts currently are rare, but holdouts from rookie minicamp are even more rare. Peppers already has done the former, if only for a day. The question now is whether he’ll do the latter. If only for a day.

18 responses to “Guarantees holding up Jabrill Peppers deal

  1. Just a hunch, but I’m going to predict that Jabrill Peppers has contract issues for his entire career.

  2. I agree with mazenblue (even though I went to Illinois). Peppers is playing with fire here and rookies need to understand that without ever having played a down on an NFL field, you have no leverage. Negotiate between what you got then play it out on the field. If you are good enough you will get paid.

  3. It’s easy for all of us couch jockeys to say “sign your deal and get on the field”. Truth is, this could be the only contract Peppers ever signs and he, and any other player for that matter, has every right to squeeze every last penny out of the team who could cut them without penalty at any time. If hundreds of thousands of dollars were on the line, I bet you’d consider holding out…

  4. He absolutely has leverage until he signs that contract. Browns have a ton of cap space and they need him in their secondary and as a return man. Get that money up front, man, then go to work.

    Football players careers are short. Browns players careers are shorter. The difference that we are talking about here is equivalent to a middle class person’s lifetime earnings.

    BTW I’m a Browns and Buckeyes fan, so I’m not giving this guy any slack. But he has leverage to get paid market rate to do his job.

  5. Oh here comes the advice from the peanut gallery on how a man should negotiate his money. NFL rookie contracts were capped and teams are still finding ways to haggle with players.

    NBA capped their rookie contracts years ago and you hardly ever here about NBA rookies and their teams going through contract disputes. Just make the contract guaranteed and move on. Even if the entire contract is guaranteed and the player is a bust that is still a better situation financially for teams than when they were paying rookies like Jamarcus Russell $70+ million contracts.

  6. Just an aside on odd names, while I already knew Jabrill (or at least Jabril with one L) was the Arabic for Gabriel, I thought Gareon was entirely invented – and his parents may have thought so – but it is an accepted variant spelling of the French name Garion, meaning “guard”, and the same root from which we get the word garrison.

  7. Comments seemed directed at Peppers. How about his agent? And, since he is paid to protect Peppers interest, what about the team maybe being the culprit?

  8. I’m sure Peppers is looking for guarantees like “you can still keep the money when we realize you don’t have a position in the NFL”.

  9. Maybe he’s holding out for a weed clause… I mean a dehydration clause in his contract so he doesn’t have to pee when he smokes… I mean is dehydrated.

  10. This isn’t going to go over well w/Greg Williams. He doesn’t give a crap who you think you are, peppers is going to pay when Williams gets ahold of him in practice if he holds out much longer!

  11. This should be a lesson to teams doing pre-draft research on prospective players. Peppers’ agent is the same group which represent Joey Bosa. They are, IMHO, even worse than Drew Rosenhaus whose nonsensical antics led to Terrelle Pryor taking a 1-year deal versus the multi-year deal the Browns were offering (and ended up giving to Kenny Britt). Bosa’s agency played “hardball” with the Chargers last year in a similar fashion to what they’re doing with Peppers and the Browns this year. I think NFL front offices would do well to check into prospective players’ agency representations before drafting them and perhaps send a message by passing over dudes whose contracts are going to cause unnecessary problems. These guys all get paid royally anyway. When is enough enough?

  12. without the benefit of Conley being under contract, Peppers doesn’t have a direct, practical ceiling on his guaranteed money.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    No, Mike, he really does. His ceiling is whatever the Browns are willing to give him. They make an offer and he says no and makes a counter offer. Eventually it boils down to somebody relenting. You always take the player’s position and that is fine, however, long term impact may hurt the player that wants to make a stink about their very first contract. He is establishing his reputation as we speak. Unless he is a super-stud then he will get less money or at least less teams interested when he becomes a free agent. GMs remember the problem child.

  13. Lucky for Peppers, he’s about 15th on the priority list of things to repair in Cleveland.

  14. The Brownies traded up to grab this clown. Most likely, the moneyball that the Browns have been playing will not work out. It’s one thing to stockpile draft picks. It’s another to actually draft good players who will contribute to the team.

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