Justin Gilbert doesn’t know if he’ll sign before camp opens

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Since the NFL players and owners came to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011, rookie holdouts have become almost nonexistent. Rookie contracts don’t have much to be negotiated anymore, which is why 252 of the 256 players drafted this year have already signed.

But of the four draft picks who haven’t signed their rookie deals, the highest-drafted says he’s not sure if it’s going to happen any time soon.

Browns rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert, the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, was asked if he will be signed by the start of training camp in late July and answered, “I have no idea,” according to FOX Sports Ohio.

Gilbert said all he knows is that his agent and the Browns are talking.

“They’re still working on it,” he said.

Gilbert didn’t say what issues they’re working on, but when a rookie doesn’t sign promptly under the current CBA, it’s usually about whether or not the contract will include offset language that allows the team to reduce the player’s fully guaranteed pay if the player gets released by the team that drafted him and then signed by another team. Players usually agree to the offset language, but the player drafted immediately before Gilbert, Bucs receiver Mike Evans, was able to partially get around the offset language, and it’s possible that Gilbert is looking for the same deal.

Whatever issues have prevented Gilbert from signing so far, they’ll probably be resolved before camp opens. That’s just how things tend to work out in the world of the new CBA, where training camp holdouts hardly ever happen.

39 responses to “Justin Gilbert doesn’t know if he’ll sign before camp opens

  1. The Browns should have traded down again and found yet another sucker to overpay for the move and they could have maybe got Gilbert even lower if not a fairly equal prospect of value. It amuses me that Gilbert still wants to maximize his leverage as the 8th overall pick. Nice haha!

  2. I believe in this kid. That being said he was the Browns first pick not johnny bust, more stories on him please.

    – Niners Fan

  3. I can’t think of a team that has had a worse offseason than the Cleveland Browns.

    When you think about it, they could’ve drafted Sammy Watkins and Derek Carr (or Bradley Roby, if they desperately needed a CB) and had a year under a new coach to develop an identity.

    Instead, they have Manziel-Mania consuming all the oxygen in the room, a new Head Coach who made himself look like a self-serious clown over “playbook-gate”, and a non-elite CB threatening to hold out, despite the fact that the six other defensive backs from the first round have all signed before OTA’s.

    Just a string of bad decisions that have led to this point.

  4. As a life-long Browns’ fan I believe the issue(s) are probably minor and aren’t worth the risk of continuing to hold out. Unfortunately, players seem to be pawns of their agents who no doubt are trying to squeeze every nickel possible out of the teams. SIGN and get ready for camp…please!

  5. He is missing valuable time and is already behind,why worry about something that may not apply to him anyway,needs to tell his agent to just do the damn thing.

  6. I’m usually always saying rookies have to prove something before they make contract demands but in this case, I’m on Gilbert’s side. Think it all out, the owner is in legal (and possibly criminal) trouble with his “Flying J” company and not to forgot that the Brown’s Organization dumped their head coach after one season last year. The Browns make too many drastic moves and I don’t blame him for wanting financial security in an insecure organization…. Mania….

  7. I know Gilbert has an agent, but it is irresponsible to not understand what your agent is haggling over. Secondly someone needs to point out to him that refusing to sign over offset language is like betting against yourself so you feel better when you get cut.

  8. Better pony up, Browns. You made the moves presumably to show a commitment to winning.

    He also wants a wad of money that can use as a cellphone

  9. Continue to hold out Justin. Skip this year and maybe be signed by a REAL team next year.

  10. Wonder if Justin Gilbert is related to Darrelle Revis’ uncle (and holdout-happy business advisor) Sean Gilbert. Because this sure makes it look like he is…

  11. Every contract should have offset language that allows the team to reduce the player’s fully guaranteed pay if the player gets released by the team and then signed by another team. This prevents a players from being a complete malcontent and forcing a team into releasing him so he can keep all the guaranteed contract money and then sign a new deal with another team. The money IS guaranteed. Offset language just prevents players from double dipping.

  12. Meanwhile, Kyle Fuller — who many believe will be a better NFL CB than Gilbert will — was one of the first draft picks in any round to sign his deal.

  13. drfeelyouup says:
    Jun 27, 2014 1:42 PM
    Just sign the damn papers. You are a stud, you’re not going to suck, get cut and lose out on money.
    Maybe, but no offset allows a player to basically suck on purpose to force the team to cut him early. There is also the personality clash potential or any number of reasons he could be cut early. The team’s only protection against on-field dereliction is offset language.

  14. One trip to Cleveland for OTA’s and Justin Gilbert clearly wants out, not really a surprise considering its Cleveland! Things could be worse, it could be Detroit or Green Bay, talk about terrible!

  15. watched this kid every week in college-he’s a player. he’s doing what he’s supposed to do, leave the negotiations to his agent. not a Browns fan, but Clev will like this guy.

  16. I have no problem players getting what they want considering the owners and league does everything they can to put everything in their favor. Only leverage players have is getting everything they want.

  17. He doesn’t know if he will sign or how to sign? Must be how since his salary is set.

  18. Holding out for offsets is basically setting yourself up to fail…by missing time with a holdout so you’ll get paid if you do.

    Is there a bigger red flag than a player who is worried about making money they won’t deserve of they fail?

  19. Welcome to the Browns Circus Camp. Should be made into a movie. The laughing stock of Pro Football.

  20. He doesn’t know what the contract issues are? Has he talked to his agent? Has he thought about talking to his agent? I don’t think this guy is bright enough to play in the NFl.

  21. He’ll sign when the bills come due. The agent wants the cash that he fronted Gilbert back and so does every other institution that advanced him.

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