Three unsigned first-round picks remain

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One day before training camps open, three first-round picks have not signed their rookie contracts.

The unsigned first rounders are Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (first overall), Giants tackle Andrew Thomas (fourth overall), and Titans tackle Isaiah Wilson (29th overall).

In early May, Burrow suggested that he’d monitor the COVID-19 situation before signing. It has gotten far worse instead of better since then; however, there’s no reason at this point to refuse to sign, since the signing bonus (roughly $24 million) will be paid out regardless of whether games are played this year.

Also, if Burrow would sit out the year and re-enter the draft, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be the first overall pick. Even if he were, he’d likely get a lot less in 2021. The salary cap drives rookie contracts, and a $23.2 million drop in the salary cap surely would drive down the value of the first-round rookie contracts.

For players taken at the top of the draft (like Burrow and Thomas), there isn’t much to negotiate beyond offsets in guaranteed money, the timing of the payment of the signing bonus, and the triggers for voiding guarantees. If Burrow or Thomas don’t sign by Tuesday, the likely reason will be one or more of those three.

For Wilson, the only real sticking point become the amount of the fourth-year salary that will be fully guaranteed. The player taken behind him has $1.6 million guaranteed; the player taken in front of him has $1.9 million guaranteed. Wilson should get $1.75 million guaranteed.

16 responses to “Three unsigned first-round picks remain

  1. This guy catches all the breaks don’t he. Joe can actually reenter the draft next year, wow. There you go, now I know what he is going to do. He will be the first player and probably the only player ever to be drafted twice and both times be the number one pick.

  2. Only one of those team is in a true cap hell and that’s Tenn with the Tannehill and Henry deals.

    Casey was dealt to Denver and they can’t even sign his replacement under a rookie cap? LOL

    Burrows is just a victim of Mike Brown, which is why they arrogantly haven’t signed him yet even though they knew he’d be their pick since the season ended.


  3. If Burrow doesn’t sign and re-enters the draft he’s an idiot. He’ll firstly won’t be the top pick anymore (that’ll be Lawrence) and second, he may not even be the 2nd quarterback off. Let’s say the Jags get the first pick, then Washington took the 2nd pick…I could easily see them taking Justin Fields over Joe Burrow. The only good thing for Burrow re-entering the draft is the possibility that Carolina gets a top 2 pick

  4. Doyle Hargreaves says:
    July 27, 2020 at 2:11 pm
    Joe Burrow will be one of the biggest busts in the history of the NFL


    Clemson fan.

  5. Doyle Hargreaves says:
    July 27, 2020 at 2:11 pm
    Joe Burrow will be one of the biggest busts in the history of the NFL

    Pretty sure the “busts” are all the same size in Canton
    Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida, and Oklahoma

  6. Burrow is not going to re- enter the draft. Why train with Sam Hubbard and John Ross if that was the case? And to the guy who already says he’s going to be a bust… he might be. There are no guarantees in the NFL but he has some unbelievable tape and numbers that should translate well from college to the pro’s. Haters are going to hate though I guess.

  7. I am curious what justifies a comment indicating that Burrow is going to be a bust sometimes comments are very puzzling

  8. Joe Burrow will be a bust! What Burrow doesn’t understand is that there are worst teams in the NFL! The Bengals give the young QB a talent offense and above-average defense. Joe Burrow will be 24 years old in December if he decides to reenter the 2021 draft he will be a 25 years old his rookie year and a year back in his ability to sign his next contract. I am not a Joe Burrow fan because he is a weak arm QB who knows he can’t cut in bad weather Cincinnati with those little hands. Joe Burrow could not beat Haskins at OSU he goes to LSU’s dream team and has an average season and a dream season. I think Joe Burrow is an average backup QB…

  9. Burrows not signing at this late date must indicate a problem. Waiting a year and reentering the draft seems like a huge gamble…

  10. “The only good thing for Burrow re-entering the draft is the possibility that Carolina gets a top 2 pick”

    And who’s in Carolina? Joe Brady.

  11. Gotta laugh at that one line about the virus in this article. I believe Forrest Gump has a comment the is a fitting response.

  12. raidwin says:
    July 27, 2020 at 3:56 pm
    barring injury; there no way Burrow gets drafted before Trevor Lawrence at no.1 overall

    Trevor Lawrence is decent for sure but he had his chance against Joe already and besides he is not even the best QB in the ACC anymore. If the season does go on, you will see what I am talking about.

  13. The GIANTS signed Andre Thomas, they have signed all of their guys.

    The Titans will sign their guy, they are a good Franchise.

    And there are the bengals.

    Do I even need to say anything else?

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