Bortles, Robinson avoid offset language


At a time when it appeared that the issue of offset language in top-10 rookie contracts conclusively had been resolved in favor of the teams, a pair of top-10 picks managed to avoid it.

Both Rams tackle (or guard) Greg Robinson and Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, the second and third overall picks in the draft, respectively, negotiated offset language out of their four-year deals.

This means that, in the highly unlikely event the Rams or the Jaguars cut either player between now and the end of the 2017 season, both will be permitted to sign elsewhere and keep the full amount of their rookie deals.  The other top-10 picks under contract have offset language in their deals.

(Initially, the contract signed by Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, the seventh overall pick in the draft, was reported by the NFLPA as having no offset language on the annual roster bonuses due early in training camp.  That notation no longer appears in the NFLPA summaries of the rookie contracts.)

The development could resurrect the offset issue for 2015, and it could ultimately become an impediment to the efforts of the Browns to sign the eighth overall pick in the draft, cornerback Justin Gilbert.

Since the new rookie wage scale was adopted in 2011, leaving few issues over which teams and players can haggle, no top-10 picks have been cut.  Unless and until one is, the offset language issue won’t matter.