Still no deal for Barkevious Mingo amid fight for offset language


Contract holdouts for NFL rookies appeared to be a thing of the past with the adoption of the league’s new collective bargaining agreement two seasons ago. The new CBA puts a cap on rookie spending and more adequately slots players drafted into a specific range of salary.

However, “offset language” demands from teams drafting players at the top of the draft have become the newest battle that could keep first-round picks from sitting out the start of training camp. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the fight for offset language in the contract of Browns’ linebacker Barkevious Mingo continues as Cleveland prepares for rookies to report for the start of camp on Friday.

Mingo is one of three members of the Browns’ draft class that remains unsigned. Third-round pick Leon McFadden and seventh-rounder Armonty Bryant also remain without deals.

Per Cabot, the Browns believe all three will be signed on time. However, with Mingo that could mean the start of camp itself when the full team can take the field on July 25.

Offset language keeps a contract from being fully guaranteed. If a player were to be released prior to their initial four-year contract expiring, the team would only owe the difference between the money remaining on the contract and the amount the player will make for a new team. Players – Mingo included – want the full contract guaranteed.

As we previously reported, the Browns are trying to wait out the process to see what the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles do with the contracts of Dion Jordan and Lane Johnson.

Offset language remains one of the few items that are negotiable for rookie contracts and they appear to still be a sticking point as many top picks remain unsigned.

39 responses to “Still no deal for Barkevious Mingo amid fight for offset language

  1. The battle over offset language seems petty, IMO. Either you got the pick right or you didn’t. Now you want the player to guarantee money back to the organization if YOU screwed up?

  2. It is annoying that so many contracts are held up over a provision based on what happens if the player does not succeed with the team, while the delays if they occur decrease the player’s chance of success a little bit.

    Not getting into whether that failure is the fault of the player or the team, it seems to me that there could be a middle ground carved out where the team is entitled to half the offset.

  3. Not to be negative on the browns. Even though I’m a bengals fan. But is it just me who feels mingo has bust written all over him. Not a very big guy to play in this division. Point of attack may be an issue.

  4. These battles over offset language make these teams look stupid. You’re potentially holding your rookies back from valuable time for coaching and development for what? Because you picked a player in the first round and you’re not even counting on him being with the team in 4 years? It shows a lack of confidence in the player and your own decision making. Guarantee the deals and get these guys in camp.

  5. Typical for a Cleveland-run team. On behalf of their fans, I cry — daily.

  6. I LOL at Cleveland. I LOL at the Browns.

    Pathetic beings.

    Beings that frown. 🙁


  7. It lets you know, at least on these rookie contracts, just how pointless agents are. There is nothing to argue about, so they have to create arguments (such as offset language). Kind of like a divorce attorney who has to create an adversarial relationship even if the man and the woman get along–just to prove their worth.

  8. Offset language in a nutshell: “You don’t get to double-dip salaries if you don’t make it on our team.”

    I realize a lot of agents are kind of slimy but how does any young man with pride demand to make more money if he’s a bust?

  9. Mingo is not singing a contract with OS language. He will be in camp, there will be no OS language, and those chosen ahead of him will not have OS language either.

    Now, do I think a guy who is cut should keep his contract AND sign with another team? No. Should he sign with that other team his contract with the previous team should be void, IMO.

    As a Brown’s fan I am sick and tired of paying coaches 3-4 years after we have fired them. Heck I still think we are paying Eric Mangini.

    Mingo will be in camp on time. Maybe not when rookies attend this Friday, but he will sign before the vets arrive.

  10. The 6th pick in the 2010 draft got $29 million in guaranteed money, and no offset language. This guy is probably going to get in the neighborhood of $16 million guaranteed. Evidently a savings of 45% of what they would have paid him 3 years ago isn’t good enough. But for some reason players are the ones that are branded as greedy whenever they try to maximize their income.

  11. I tought the rookie deals were going to be handled just like the NBA same deal all around guaranteed with club options on the back end with $ amounts slotted by where you got picked but this is the NFL no way we can make things that easy right?

  12. Well we have one of the few players out there who isn’t settling and is vouching for a guaranteed contract. Something DP has preached for years, now you have one of the few souls who seems to want to fight for that… GL to him, hopefully it doesn’t linger on and hinder his growth his rookie year..

  13. Maybe they can set up a few year no-pay college system, just to “make sure” who they’re getting.

  14. Wasn’t the whole point to the lockout to get rookie contracts under control? Which both sides did. Now that’s not even good enough for teams.

    Funny how losing teams are the ones w/o their rook’s signed.

  15. Only 3 of this year’s top 10 picks have signed — and none of them have the offset language.

  16. Take the offers gentlemen!! I get it the NFL teams are covering themselves. It is a business!! There isn’t one rookie that is guaranteed to have a successful career. Anyway, all of the rookies have college degrees anyway and could get jobs in the “real” world if the NFL doesn’t work out. Wait,wait, just have to get a few tissues to wipe away the years from laughing so hard. Have a nice life holdouts!!

  17. If you draft a guy this high and he turns out to be a bust, you should be fined for sucking at your job anyways. The front office should be confident enough that they scouted him well and took the right player to make this contract fully guaranteed. Good start to the new regime.

  18. There should be no language. The NBA has it right. This is where your drafted, this is your pay. If you are not good, the team has the option to keep you or cut you after year two. With all the busts in the NFL , this should also be adopted as policy. Pay each season in full not all 4 years. It is a joke.

  19. barkymingo says:
    Jul 18, 2013 8:24 AM
    If you draft a guy this high and he turns out to be a bust, you should be fined for sucking at your job anyways. The front office should be confident enough that they scouted him well and took the right player to make this contract fully guaranteed. Good start to the new regime.

    That’s a great point. If you like him that high in the draft, you should not be afraid of his future performance in his rookie deal. That’s why I say there will be no OS in his contract.

  20. This is just greed. No one should get paid by 2 orgs. Yeah, the teams could easily cave but why? All this provision says is IF they are cut and signed by another team, the team they left will pay them the difference between what they would have paid them and the actual pay with the new team…example below for you people that don’t seem to grasp that this is about double dipping.

    TeamA – $1M for the final year and the cut the player.

    TeamB picks him up for $500K…

    WITH OFFSET LANGUAGE: Player gets both pays for a total of $1.5M

    WITHOUT OFFSET LANGUAGE: Player gets $500k from Team B on new contract and $500 K from TeamA to make up the difference…no double dipping.

  21. basically teams are saying.

    “We like you. We think you will really improve this team. But, if you should happen to be a terrible football player that gets cut, we still want to keep our $1.5 million.”


    ” you might play great and be stuck in our 4 year deal. Orrrrrr, you might be a bust. So we want to have an insurance policy if you suck.”

  22. This has Joe Banner written all over it….he was booted from Philly for alienating players during negotiations

  23. Im pretty sure that when I signed my pre-hire paperwork for my employer it stated that if I do less than satisfactory that they can let me go and not pay me my remaining yearly salary.

    What’s the difference? Do you job and you’ll be fine.

  24. The teams didn’t want to pay rookies outrageous contracts, and they got that. Barkevious Mingo’s contract will be less than what it would have been had he been in the draft a few years ago. The team wins.

    So the player wants his rookie contact to be fully guaranteed on the off chance he is a bust, the front office team that drafted him changes (good chance on that) and he gets released or little things like, I don’t know, the owner gets indicted and everything implodes… who knows.

    The bottom line is that no matter what either side gets, each wants more. That is the nature of the beast. Get the guy signed, coach him up and stop screwing around.

    How about offset language for season ticket prices. I’ll pay the full fee but when the team sucks, and I have to dump my tickets for pennies on the dollar, the team covers the balance.

  25. To the Steeler fan commenting above: Cant you be a champion with class instead of kicking us when our team is down?
    Proud to be a Cleveland fan through thick and thin no matter what nasty things you say about us and our teams.

  26. If you didn’t want to pick in the top ten and pay a fully guaranteed contract….you should have traded back. But you made your bed when you made the pick…now lay in it and get the deal done.

  27. The old Browns might have gotten away with this because they were “established.” Players wanted to play for them.

    The new Browns haven’t done anything YET to “establish” themselves within the NFL. They are not in the same category as the Dolphins and Eagles.

    Until they establish themselves and earn some respect from other teams, and especially the players, they will have to give some on their position. Maybe Banner hasn’t realized that yet.

    Oh, and this comes from a lifelong Browns fan of 60+ years.

  28. LOL @ wanting offset language in you season ticket package!

    If the team is below .500 at the midway point of the season, you can sell the remaining tickets back to them! Actually seems pretty similar to what they’re asking the players to accept.

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