Dolphins’ insistence on offset language is expected to spread


Yes, the Dolphins are fully expected to insist on the presence of offset language in the contract that eventually will be signed by defensive end Dion Jordan, the third overall pick in the draft.

No, the Dolphins will not be the only team in the top 10 to push for offsets.

Per multiple league sources, the Eagles are expected to push for offset language in the contract signed by tackle Lane Johnson (pictured), the fourth overall pick in the draft.  Ditto for the Browns, who took defensive end Barkevious Mingo with the sixth pick.

As one source explained it, the Browns hope to delay signing Mingo until others in the top 10 are under contract, in order to see how many teams obtain offset language.

Last year, the Dolphins obtained offset language for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the eighth overall pick in the draft.  No other players in the top nine signed contracts with offset language.

It continues to be a trivial issue, but still one of the few terms about which there can be negotiation given the new rookie wage scale.  The contracts at the top of the draft are fully guaranteed.  In the unlikely event that the player is cut before the end of the contract and pass through waivers unclaimed, the players hope to keep the full value of the contract plus whatever they get as free agents elsewhere.  The teams want credit for whatever the player earns from a new team for the balance of the four-year deal.

This year, only one top-1o pick has signed.  And defensive end Ziggy Ansah — arguably the biggest project in the upper reaches of the draft — was able to exclude offset language.  That only will make the agents representing Jordan and Johnson push harder for the same treatment, since they were selected before Ansah.

25 responses to “Dolphins’ insistence on offset language is expected to spread

  1. What everybody else does is irrelevant. The team will pay the slotted amount regardless if he gets cut or not. Offset just means the other team’s money replaces what is owed and anything short is still paid by team #1.

    If a player does not like the team they could easily tank performance to get cut and hit free agency quicker and try to double dip. Offset prevents that kind of shady stuff. There is no valid reason a player should be paid twice.

  2. Double-dipping is bullsh*t! If a player doesnt perform the way they are getting paid to perform, then they should get cut without being able to go sign with another team while getting money from both. I’m with the teams on this. STAND YOUR GROUND!

  3. It’s pretty simple, make the teams exclude the offset language, or get blasted for being a lousy agent that allowed your client to get bent over backwards.

    If you want offset language, then push for it on the next CBA agreement and don’t cave and sign for it until the deal makes sense so the bums and the busts can’t get paid big money.

    I have no sympathy for these teams and owners and the NFL reps that negotiated a bad deal for themselves. Make them pay for it now, they did a bad job in business negotiation and now is the time to pay the bill. Give the players their money. That’s what you guys picked.

  4. That’d make me made too as GM or owner. Cutting a guy because he refused to put in the hours to be what you drafted, and he goes to another team, gets a new contract and you still have to pay him.

  5. The problem people are not seeing is that the slotted salaries were agreed to without offset language included. Overall salaries are already pushed back deep in to the contract. By insisting on offset language the team is gaining salary insurance that they have not negotiated for or risked a large amount of upfront money for. If teams wanted the language in the slotted contracts they should have negotiated for it when it was time to do so.

    If you took a job and signed a 5 year contract in which your salary were lower in the first years but was meant to be much higher in the later years and your boss decided to fire you after 2 years would you give the residual money back? No one here would, don’t expect others to do the same thing. What ever contract you sign after that has no bearing on the previous deal.

  6. Can’t really compare the real world with pro sports –not to many of us have multi million dollar contracts from day 1 out of school –but that aside –does every element of common sense need to put into contractual language? no wonder we are awash in lawyers.

  7. So the teams want offset language. What do they have to offer for it? What are they giving up? If they want, they have to give. They have near nothing to give. Offset language is a clear sign of a mediocre agent. Andrew Luck and Cam Newton got 4yrs/22m. Sam Bradford got 6yrs/78m. They already destroyed rookie earning potential with slotted salaries. Give NFL owners an inch, they want a mile.

  8. First, the owners were right to get rookie salaries under control. However, the rookies are locked into a contract for up to 5-years before they can get market value.

    Could we get a little historical perspective on previous draft classes top 10 picks? How many were cut within what is now a 5-yr contract window and re-signed with another team. If you looked at 2004-2008 draft classes, that would be 50 players who should have completed 5-yrs. How many would have played out a contract (still in the NFL), got cut within 5-yrs and re-signed with someone else, etc.?

    This may be much ado about nothing.

  9. If the teams don’t get offset language it give players without it significant incentive to hold out the last year of their contract to get traded and paid twice for one season

  10. Hopefully the teams stand their ground and make sure the players know that employees do NOT dictate terms of employment to employers. It’s ridiculous that anyone should be paid by two employers simultaneously, unless they are actually working for two employers at the same time. This “double-dipping” has got to be stopped.

  11. I understand there are busts and everything in the top 10, but with the new rookie scale teams aren’t nearly as hurt by one as a bust.

    Given the fact that the Dolphins are the only teams doing this and the fact that they traded UP for him – i don’t see why the player or agent should budge. Obviously they felt that confident in his ability – pay him according to the wage scale where you drafted him.

    I love how people remember the guys who hold out for money, but never remember the guys that get cut over mere dollars too..

    does anyone here really think Anquan Boldin would have been traded if his cap hit was $3 or 4 million instead of 6? Dude is clearly worth it, he bailed out Joe Flacco so many times with his jump balls..But the real question is: how would you view him if he was getting paid 2 or 3 million a year and held out for 5 or 6?

    You can easily interchange Boldin and those numbers with any player in the league – helps change your perception a bit doesn’t it?

    And for those who talk about “oh he’s getting millions of dollars to play a game” – yea, he is. But the same game you were playing didn’t involve 300 lb mammoths and other beasts that you played with in your back yard like him…and those same guys you were playing with weren’t delivering hits that could alter the longevity of your life.

    Need examples of what I mean? Joe Theissman, Junior Seau. Both two different extremes.

    I’m a military Vet with a brain injury who’s not getting the proper treatment from the VA (hell i haven’t had my physical from the VA yet in over 3 years of being out) – and you know what, I still completely understand where these players are coming from.

  12. Once again we see ow the NFL owners have all the bargaining power. Remember how the first round bonus system was until the new CBA. The NFLPA basically caved in with the thought that bonuses for rookies where way too high and the money should go to veterans. That was theoretically a good idea. However in reality it has slowed down both the rookie scale and now the veteran scale. One only has to look at this years free agent market. Essentially the owners got all of what they wanted . In addition the union let the owners to get away with violating federal labor laws for just a few dollars to insure their officers reelection . If I were Rodger Goodell I would make sure I keep the present union leadership in office forever!

  13. maybe I am figuring this wrong I have no problem with the idea of offset language for college kids with character issues did tannehill have character issues?? but to claim the brilliance of the front office of the dolphins check out the 12 mil per year they signed mike Wallace to. maybe the dolphins are trying to offset the Wallace deal hoping to sace face

  14. I’m a Fins fan, but being completely objective, I think offset language makes sense. All the Fins (or other teams) are saying is “you will make $X million over Y years. Whether you get it from us or someone else, your money is 100% guaranteed.”

    I think the point about completely sabotaging is a valid concern. Clearly that’s highly unlikely, and I understand that. But imagine Dion Jordan really, really wants to play for Chip Kelly. So he plays so horribly after 2 yrs. that the Dolphins have no choice but to cut him. And for 2 yrs., Jordan and Chip have a wink-wink-nod-nod agreement in place to match his back three years on his deal. And suddenly Jordan gets paid 2X his deal in the final 3 yrs. b/c he gets it from both teams. Does seem a bit backwards.

    Again, I’ll get thumbs down for suggesting a top pick would blatantly sabotage his season. But stranger things have happened (see: Titus Young).

  15. This is one of those rare arguments that makes no sense from any point of view:

    1. The player says he’s the bomb, but wants a little extra in case he turns out to be a bust;
    2. The team says he’s an elite player, but want protection in the event they can’t actually evaluate and develop talent; and,
    3. It will NEVER happen. When top 10 guys bust, they bust HUGE. I think Derrick Harvey got a league minimum deal from the Broncos after three years with the Jags, but before him you’re going back to Ryan Leaf. All the other three-year busts went nowhere.

    Biiiiig waste of time.

  16. These players better bit accept any off set language. Hold these teams to the FIRE!

    Teams can cut players whenever! Uproot their entire families. It’s only right they get paid from their old team & new team.

  17. Aren’t all rookie contracts only 4 years? What are the odds a 1st round pick gets cut before those 4 years? And if a player is so bad that they do get cut and pass through waivers then the new contract they get will be for the league minimum. Maybe teams should just have confidence In the players they drafted.

  18. If a rookie gets cut as is a true bust, so he does not get signed by anyone the club that drafted him is on the hook for the rookie deal.

    If he signs with another team he get at worst the total of his rookie deal WITH offset language.
    I do not see the problem.
    You should not get paid twice for the same job.

    No player loses $ with the offset, just the ability to get paid more by getting paid twice if he is cut and resigned.

    The CBA agreement makes that initial contract guaranteed $ so the player is set for that contract no matter what.

  19. I see where everyone is coming from with the comments of ‘you shouldn’t get paid twice’. The problem is that there is no give (from the team) that I can see to go along with this take.

    The contracts are so strongly slotted, the rookies will sign for the same amount whether or not they have offset language. Given the choice between $4M with no offset, or $4M with offset, that’s not really a negotiation, more of a demand. I’m genuinely curious if there is something a team can offer in exchange for allowing offset language.

    And to those with conspiracy theories that a player will purposely tank in order to get extra money…get real.

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