I had a request to try to show some of the various draft statuses of the 2014 picks and look a bit deeper into the numbers so we’ll break this down into rounds a few copied tables from Excel that I keep for my own records. This data was current as of June 9, 2014 so any players who signed since then won’t be listed.
As of the time I am writing this 19 of 32 picks had signed contracts. Two of the unsigned players are members of the Rams who have yet to sign any draft picks. Last year they waited until they could give lessons in things like financial planning and then proceeded to sign everyone, so I would imagine the same will occur here. The Lions don’t have the cap room to sign Eric Ebron yet and that should be a simple one once they make a move to create the space.
Blake Bortles is likely pushing for no offsets, something that no player has received as of yet. His argument will be that the Jaguars rushed into a contract last year with Luke Joeckel and gave him no offsets and that he deserves the same, especially as a QB.
I’d imagine that Mike Evans, Justin Gilbert , and Taylor Lewan are trying to negotiate training camp roster bonuses into their contract. Many of those slots received those structures last season but the Vikings signing of Anthony Barr to a non-bonus contract pushed the limit up this season giving teams more reason to fight on it. Number 12 to 18 will all have the same structure.
Ja’Waun James could be fighting for the full guarantee as last season his slot was the cutoff point for full to partial guarantees. Johnny Manziel will be arguing for a higher guarantee premium since he is a QB. The Browns did the same for Brandon Weeden a few years back. The remainder of the first round should sign easily.
22 of the second round picks have signed, but none of the first three picks have signed. This is likely due to guarantees. Those picks should be able to negotiate partial guarantees in 2016. Structure wise picks 38 and 39 should fit into the 2014-15 guaranteed pattern and could be looking at workout bonus patterns.
Trent Murphy and Jace Amaro were able to snag the higher percentage of guarantees though having 2014 guaranteed is kind of a paper guarantee since none of these guys were going to be cut this year. Still that could hold up Stephon Tuitt from signing. Cody Latimer and Carlos Hyde also got above the norms for the guarantees but both the Broncos and 49ers have done that in the past so it’s really an organizational thing.
For the late picks in the second round its simply about getting a slightly higher partial guarantee in 2015.
We have 10 unsigned picks in round three. These remaining picks should only be arguing over a few dollars in salaries or workout bonuses. If you look closely you will notice how a Louis Nix earns more than the player signed right above him. The goal is to get the money in 2015 and 2016 rather than 2017 when the PPE kicks in.
For the most part everyone here got the same deal with 2014 split language in their contract. The only non conformist deals were Khyn Thornton’s (just a preseason split) ad Donte Moncrief’s (he has credited season language along with the split). The Rams and the Giants are the other teams to usually use just the preseason split here and both players should get that when they sign. The Colts and Patriots are the two organizations that demand the credited season language for their third round picks so it was near impossible for Moncrief to avoid. New England doesn’t have a 3rd rounder.
The Rams are the lone holdout here so that means basically everyone is signed. There are a number of different terms throughout this round. The best deal is to be signed by either the Giants or Chiefs. New York just goes with a full split for 2014, the only team in the draft to do that while the Chiefs continue to put small workout bonuses in all their picks contracts.
Most of the picks at the top of the round get a full split in 2014 with a partial split in 2015 and credited season language for 2015. Other exceptions are the Redskins (just preseason splits with no credited season changes), Bears (2014 preseason splits with 2015 credited season language), Packers, Seahawks, and Panthers (all of whom opted for full splits in 2014 and preseasons in 2015).
The rest of the squads got full split and 2015 credited season language in their deals. Those are all the norm except for the Cowboys who have lighter split language but harsher credited season language. I guess this was a tradeoff in the Hitchens negotiation.
With no Rams selected in the round we have a complete picture and as you will see in the chart there is essentially nothing to negotiate. Almost every contract signed here follows the same pattern with a few exceptions, almost all of which would have been expected. The one exception was the Redskins who were harsher this year with credited seasons than in the past. As is common getting selected by the Ravens keeps your following year salary intact if you suffer an early injury.
Everyone but the members of the Rams have signed their contracts. Same patterns here with the Bears keeping the Pre-season splits and the Ravens being the only squad to not use credited season language in their deals. For the Jaguars this was the round where they decided to move to credited season language for two rather than just one season, which is exactly how they operated the season before as well.
Once again all picks are signed except for the players on the Rams and almost everyone follows the same patterns. The exception is the Eagles who now move to two years of credited season language. Last year they actually went with conditional third year splits, so they were easier on the player this time around. I think it’s fair to say that these most of these round 5-7 picks are at the mercy of the team when it comes to different language in a deal. The Ravens are the most player friendly (the Rams will be right there with them when they get their guys done) while teams like the Cowboys, Redskins, Colts, and Chargers are more difficult. Overall the Colts are probably the harshest team in terms of contract language for their non-elite (round 1 and 2) draft picks.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.