There’s a popular belief that rookie contracts under the 2011 CBA should take only five minutes. In one specific round, those talks are slightly more complicated.
As explained by Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, the third round has become what one agent calls the “wild, wild West.”
For reasons not entirely known, the current labor deal allows for more negotiation in round three than in the other rounds. Over time, this has created fluctuations in the various slots, giving both team and player ammunition for digging in and not budging.
As noted by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, 206 of 253 draft picks have signed contracts as of Friday afternoon. The 81.4-percent completion rate is kept low by the fact that only 17 of 35 third-round picks have agreed to terms.
It’s odd that the current cookie-cutter approach doesn’t apply to every round of the draft, and it’s an inconsistency that should be addressed in the next labor negotiations. Of course, given all of the other issues pending between the NFL and NFL Players Association, this one likely will be very low on the list.