Last July, five of seven unsigned players in the top 10 were represented by CAA. This year, four of five unsigned first-round picks are represented by CAA.
One reason for this? CAA typically represents a lot of first-round picks. Another reason for it? CAA drives a hard bargain for its clients, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Camps aren’t open, so the foot-dragging isn’t really costing the players anything — other than the ability to invest, spend, etc. the money they would have received by now if they’d signed sooner.
The unsigned selections are 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (No. 2; represented by CAA), Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (No. 3; represented by Nicole Lynn of Young Money APAA Sports), Bucs linebacker Devin White (No. 5; represented by CAA), Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (No. 6; represented by CAA), and Panthers linebacker Brian Burns (No. 16; represented by CAA).
The primary issues for unsigned top-10 picks typically are cash flow on the signing bonus and offset language on the fully-guaranteed deal. It’s unclear why Burns hasn’t signed. He’s in the middle of the round, well below the range for no-offset language — and well above the cutoff for a fully-guaranteed deal. His financial parameters are set, and the deal will be fully-guaranteed.
The other guarantee is that most if not all of these deals will be done before training camp opens. Last year, however, CAA took a stand with Bears linebacker Roquan Smith (the No. 8 pick) over language that would have voided his guarantees. So that’s another issue that could, in theory, be keeping the unsigned first-round picks from getting signed.