Not every first-round contract will be easy to negotiate

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With an unprecedented number of draft picks signing contracts early, thanks to a CBA that makes it more formulaic than ever to work out the details of deals, it would be easy to assume that the momentum will continue until all of the deals are done, perhaps by Memorial Day.

It would be easy, but it very well could be wrong.

Though there’s not all that much to negotiate when it comes to first-round contracts, one potential sticking point comes from the extent to which the money is fully guaranteed for all four years.  In 2011, the first 20 picks received four-year, fully-guaranteed contracts.  Three-year guarantees applied as of the 22nd pick, Colts lineman Anthony Castonzo.

At pick 21, the Browns and defensive lineman Phil Taylor worked out a compromise that would make his fourth-year income guaranteed or put him on the open market early in the league year, giving him an extended opportunity to make the money with a new team.

In 2012, picks in the range of 21 to 25 could take some extra time, as agents try to pull the four-year guarantee deeper into the round — or, at a minimum, to slide the formula that the Browns used when negotiating Taylor’s deal to lower selections.

Making things even more interesting is the fact that the Patriots, who have been known to drive a hard bargain with first-round picks (just ask Ben Watson), hold spot No. 21, for which they traded up used to select defensive end Chandler Jones.  Also, the Browns devoted pick No. 22 to a quarterback, Brandon Weeden, who may be able to get the same deal one spot lower that Taylor got last year with the 21st pick, especially by pointing to the loose notion that quarterbacks deserve a better deal that non-quarterbacks taken at the same spot.

Then the question becomes whether the players taken with picks 23 (Riley Reiff of the Lions), 24 (David DeCastro of the Steelers), and 25 (Dont’a Hightower of the Patriots) will be able to yank the Taylor/Weeden formula deeper into the round.

Chances are the Patriots won’t go for it at No. 25, which would set the floor on the three-year guarantee.  That leaves Reiff and DeCastro to possibly wait it out.  Possibly past the Fourth of July.

Possibly into training camp.

It’s a topic that was included within Friday’s PFT Live, so that gives me an opening to paste the code in the spot where we usually paste the code.

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24 responses to “Not every first-round contract will be easy to negotiate

  1. You need to (re)watch the episode of seinfeld where they talk about button up shirts and how the the button 2nd to the top makes the shirt and if it’s in no mans land it looks just weird….well…your button is in no mans land.

  2. For what little they are signing for compared to previous years, I don’t see a holdout happening. Apples to Oranges from previous rookie contracts.

  3. steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh says:
    May 11, 2012 8:52 PM
    We win championships.

     Athletes won six championships while playing for the people that offered them monie. You are probably (hopefully) not old enough to have even watched me from your couch. Stop putting your life’s sadness on display to the world.

  4. There is a formula for draft picks, we need a chart for how much success and money agents costs their players long term when the hold out as rookies.

    And its usually over $1 million dollars or less in the end, a drop in the bucket for most first round players over their career. Even if they only ever get one contract.

  5. Like hell you do…The Ravens win Championships while kicking stooler a$$.

    You’ll get your asse$$ kicked TWICE again this year…LOSERS.

    I notice no stooler fans come to Baltimore anymore for FEAR

  6. What’s this “we” $hit? I highly doubt you were lacing it up with Terry and the boys or even ballin with the Bus. So if you’re going to talk smack at least do it with the proper grammar, and good luck going anywhere with the aging and now rusted steel curtain squad you’re rolling out this year.

  7. nyyjetsknicks says:
    May 11, 2012 8:23 PM
    I thought the rookie wage scale took a lot of the negotiating off the table?
    Did you even read the post? Please don’t waste your own time and everybody else’s time by commenting on a post you didn’t even read.

  8. sixburghrules says:

    And BTW steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh

    You’re a moron and make Steeler fans look as STUPID as you!

    If you read his longer posts, they’re like an SNL parody. He’s not a Steelers fan, and his objective is to make Steelers fans look stupid. But he can never hope to make us look as ridiculous as our rivals …

    clevelandschronic2 says: Steelers—Cant forget rape women and take cheap shots either

    Their junior-high digs are barely literate. Sad, isn’t it?

  9. Thursday, Chandler Jones tweeted that he was all excited and had some great news. That tweet almost immediately was deleted and he insisted the news was that he was moving to MA. Methinks the news was really contract related and he got the first “no no” talk from his agent through the Pats. We’ll see.

  10. All of this should have been negotiated and set in stone when they negotiated the CBA.

    I mean, were they jerking off for 3 months before they started real negotiations?

  11. Actually last year there were a few holdouts. Justin Houston was the last pick signed by the Chiefs and he was a 3rd rounder. I’m sure he wanted 2nd round money because he was a first round talent but anyway, Patriots, Chiefs, and the really conservative GM’s will NEVER rush to get rookie contracts completed if they could save a few bucks by waiting. Especially now the Chiefs at 11th picked Poe, doesn’t get the 5 year deal but will be the top deal of the 2nd tier…that deal will hold up a bunch of others or it will cause a bunch of others to fall in line.

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