10% Of NFL Draft Picks Remain Unsigned

As shown in PFR’s tracker, the bulk of this year’s draft picks are now under contract. Of this year’s 256 selections, 230 have inked their first NFL deal. As of Monday morning, that leaves just 26 players – or approximately 10% of this year’s class – unsigned. Here’s the complete breakdown of the stragglers, round by round:

First Round (16)

Second Round (4)

  • Colts, 2-36: Darius Leonard, LB (South Carolina State)
  • Colts, 2-37: Braden Smith, G (Auburn)
  • Dolphins, 2-42: Mike Gesicki, TE (Penn State)
  • 49ers, 2-44: Dante Pettis, WR (Washington)

Third Round (5)

Fifth Round (1)

Sixth Round (0)

Seventh Round (0)

Fourth Round (0)

Rookie holdouts are pretty rare under the current CBA, but the Joey Bosa drama of 2016 reminded all of us that it’s still a possibility. We have yet to hear of a significant divide between this year’s first-round picks and their respective teams, but it’s something to keep in mind as we inch closer to training camp.

Typically, first-round picks take longer to sign as they haggle over offset language. Offset language relates to what happens to a player’s salary if he’s cut during the first four years of his career, while he’s still playing on his rookie contract. For example, if a player has $4MM in guaranteed money remaining on his contract and is cut, he’ll still be owed that $4MM.

However, if a team has written offset language into the contract, that club can save some money if and when the player signs with a new team. For example, if that player who had $4MM in guaranteed money left on his contract signs with a new club on a $1MM deal, his old team would only be on the hook for $3MM, with the new team making up the difference. Some teams hold the line on the issue of offset language while others are willing to either give into the agent’s demands or meet them halfway with “partial” offset language.

Third-round picks also tend to take a while to sign due to flexibility in base compensation, but that list of stragglers has been cut in half – from 10 to 5 – over the last two weeks.

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One comment on “10% Of NFL Draft Picks Remain Unsigned

  1. bradthebluefish
    bradthebluefish

    Draft picks should be automatically signed to the slot value and that’s that. Why drag it out?

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