Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk just picked up the details that the Rams put no offset language in the contract of Alec Ogletree drafted number 30 overall which now has some speculating that it will change the parameters of contract negotiations of those selected between 21 and 30 as the players now have some leverage in their negotiations with the their teams. As I had pointed out back in my article on negotiating points for rookies the Rams actions in the draft will have almost no bearing on the negotiations of other teams.
The Rams are a franchise that simply believes in putting no offsets in the contracts of their 1st round draft picks. Maybe its to show that they believe in them. Maybe they just want to be different as they are a bit quirky with some of their money allocations. Whatever the case this is what they do.
In 2011 the Rams had the 14th pick in the draft which they used on Robert Quinn. Quinn received a guarantees with no offsets. The only other player drafted that season to garner such a deal was Cam Newton, selected first overall. The Rams struck again last season, ironically with the 14th pick (Michael Brockers), with the no offset language on the guarantees. The next highest player to receive such a contract was Luke Kuechly selected at number 9 overall. The players selected between number 11 and 13 all signed well after Brockers. His signing made no impact. It was no surprise that Tavon Austin, picked number 8, received no offsets from the Rams and while no one knew for certain about Ogletree nobody will be swayed one bit by the move.
Last season the Detroit Lions caved on the no offsets for the 23rd pick in the draft, Riley Reiff. The Lions now have a similar reputation as the Rams. Signing after Reiff were Kendall Wright(pick 20), Brandon Weeden (pick 22), and David DeCastro (pick 24). All contained offset language.
Might some look at Ogletree and Reiff and think it gives them more reason to wait to sign? Possibly. The team with the most riding on it is the Vikings who dug in last year with Matt Kalil and lost, but Kalil had extreme leverage in that everyone around him was receiving those contracts. Minnesota has three picks in the 20s, but they won’t have the same leverage Kalil had because of precedence of the last two years. With the Broncos and Packers looking to sign deals with picks 26 and 28 respectively, it would seem that almost any leverage would disappear for the other players as those two teams are extremely tough on contracts and would likely not even entertain the issue if brought up.
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.