Five of the seven players drafted at the bottom of the first round don’t have contracts. And one of the two contracts negotiated in that window may be one of the reasons for that.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the deal signed by Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny has become an issue regarding the negotiations involving other players taken with the final selections in round one.
The issue isn’t the total value of the deal but the amount of the guaranteed compensation in year four. The three players taken from picks 23 through 25 (Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley, the 26th pick, is unsigned) realized double-digit percentage increases in the amount of the guaranteed pay for the fourth season, in comparison to last year’s picks No. 23 through 25. Penny, however, had his percentage of guaranteed pay shrink by 0.37 percent.
As the source explained it, that discrepancy has become an impediment for at least one of the players taken after Penny. While it’s still unlikely that holdouts will result for any of the players taken late in the first round, someone will need to blink regarding the issue of guarantees in 2021 before that will happen.