Under the NFL’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, signing draft picks has become easier than ever before, making rookie holdouts a thing of the past. With contracts strictly slotted by draft position, teams and agents can haggle over guaranteed money, offsets, and a couple other factors, but for the most part, as soon as a player is drafted, he knows what his rookie contract will look like.
Given the lack of flexibility for rookie deals, it’s no surprise that only two and a half weeks after the 2015 draft ended, over 80% of this year’s draftees are now under contract with their respective teams. Of this year’s 256 draft picks, 205 have reached agreements with their clubs, while 51 remain unsigned, according to our tracker.
Should we expect lengthy holdups for those remaining 51 players? Probably not. As mentioned above, total guaranteed money can be a point of contention, particularly for first- and second-round picks, but it would be a surprise if any of the players currently unsigned are still without contracts when training camps get underway in July.
Here are a few other notes on 2015’s draft pick signings so far:
- Most of the remaining unsigned draftees – 36 of 51 – are first-, second-, or third-rounders, with the first round still having the most players left to sign, at 13.
- Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, the second overall pick, is the only player in the top seven who has yet to sign.
- Of the NFL’s 32 teams, 13 have finished signing their draft classes. The Ravens, Bills, Panthers, Bears, Texans, Chiefs, Dolphins, Vikings, Jets, Eagles, Chargers, 49ers, and Washington have all taken care of all their draft business.
- The Rams are the only team in the NFL that has yet to sign a single draft pick, or at least to confirm that they’ve done so — I’d expect the club to formally announce all nine of its signings in one fell swoop.
- Besides the Rams, every team has signed its sixth-round picks. Similarly, in the fifth round, only two Raiders draftees and Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona remain unsigned. The delay with Cardona may be related to negotiating his obligations to the Navy.