The NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement has, for the most part, ended the days of long and contentious contract negotiations with rookie draft picks. But players drafted in the third round have the most room to negotiate, and as usual, that’s resulting in third round picks being the last to sign.
According to Spotrac.com, there are only 34 rookie draft picks who remain unsigned, and 24 of them were mid-to-late third-round picks. Four of the unsigned rookies were drafted in the first round, 10 in the second round, and everyone drafted after the third round has signed.
Third-round picks can negotiate for additional compensation, so that means it often takes longer for those picks to get done. The Texans reportedly gave Nico Collins, the 89th overall pick, 100 percent of the available additional compensation, and that has meant the agents for the other rookies drafted in Collins’ range don’t want to take anything less. Collins is in the middle of the range of players who remain unsigned; all of the unsigned third-round picks were selected between 77th and 105th overall.
The good news for the teams and players with unresolved third-round picks is that these things always get resolved. Don’t expect any of these third-round rookies to remain unsigned much longer.