Let’s take a quick swing around the league’s east divisions:
- Jordan Raanan of NJ.com believes the Giants will bring in a veteran wide receiver at some point over the next couple of months, though there is no rush for the team to do so right now, as there is currently not much of a market for the remaining free agent wideouts. Raanan sees Anquan Boldin and Andre Johnson as potential fits, as both bring the size and physicality that would complement the speed of diminutive receivers Odell Beckham, Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Victor Cruz while giving Eli Manning another credible redzone threat.
- 13 of the Jets’ crop of 14 undrafted free agents received signing bonuses, and three of those players–Jalin Marshall, Doug Middleton, and Lawrence Thomas–received bonuses higher than $10K, suggesting that they were “priority” free agents. Of that trio, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com sees Marshall, the former Ohio State wideout, as the player with the best chance to make the club, as he has the kick return ability to contribute right away while he develops his fledgling receiver skills. Gang Green, of course, struggled mightily in the return game last year.
- Former NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett, one of the Patriots‘ three third-round draft choices this year, is the only New England draftee who has not yet signed his rookie contract, as Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com observes. Brissett is the league’s only draft pick to not hire a traditional sports agent, instead relying on former NFL safety Abram Elam, whom Brissett is consulting as an adviser, and NFLPA director of salary cap and agent administration, Mark Levin. Although rookie contracts under the new CBA are fairly straightforward as a result of the rookie wage scale–Brissett himself has said that the deal will get done, and he will get a four-year contract worth roughly $3MM with a $680K signing bonus–the Brissett situation serves as a reminder that there is still some back-and-forth between teams and rookies, especially third-round draftees. As Reiss points out, while nearly 75% of this year’s draft class has signed, only 15 of 35 third-round picks have inked their rookie deals. First- and second-round picks can receive a maximum of 25% allocation of a team’s rookie salary cap, but because the third round does not max out at 25%, there is often debate over what the correct percentage should be, and therefore more room for negotiation and the inclusion of incentives like workout bonuses.
- In the same piece linked above, Reiss observes that Patriots’ fourth-round draft pick Malcolm Mitchell was one of 41 rookies invited to the NFL Players Association Premiere in Los Angeles from May 19-22, and he was the only one that did not attend the event. Mitchell reportedly felt traveling cross country before arriving back in town at midnight tonight or early tomorrow morning would have put him in a position where he wouldn’t be at his best for tomorrow’s start of voluntary organized team activities. Although the NFLPA might not be in love with Mitchell’s decision, New England will certainly appreciate Mitchell’s concern for his new club.