Tagovailoa, Brown Have Offset Language

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Panthers defensive lineman Derrick Brown have offset language in their contracts, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. So far, they’re the only two first-round picks to have their deals in place, so that’s an indication most of the Top 32 will follow suit. 

Rookie contracts for NFL draft picks are cut-and-dry, for the most part, thanks to the slotting system. However, offset language is usually the biggest barrier to an agreement. If a player with offset language is released midway through the contract and signs elsewhere, the original team is only on the hook for the difference in salary between the two deals. Without offset language, the player can effectively collect two paychecks. Naturally, agents try to preserve that potential earning power while owners push back.

Breer expects just about every first-round pick to make the same concession, except for Jaguars first-round picks C.J. Henderson (No. 9 overall) and K’Lavon Chaisson (No. 20 overall). Historically, the Jaguars have not pushed offsets on players, but most teams do. It would only make sense for teams to insist on offsets, particularly following this truly unprecedented evaluation period. In essence, offset language serves as a bit of insurance against the possibility of a draft bust.

On the whole, the Dolphins are excited about Tagovailoa’s potential, despite his surgically-repaired hip and other past issues on his medical chart. In accordance with his slot at No. 5 overall, he’ll make just over $30MM over the course of a four-year deal. Brown, meanwhile, is set to make just under $24MM over the course of his four year deal with the Panthers. As first round picks, both deals will include fifth-year options. They’ll also come with a bit of extra protection, thanks to the offset language included within.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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11 comments on “Tagovailoa, Brown Have Offset Language

  1. The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant

    Offset language is bs, but when you don’t allow a free market, then the players have to make major sacrifices. Anti-capitalist NFL.

    • fieldsj2

      I agree completely, it cracks me up when people complain about players holding out. Why is a player expected to honor a contract when his team can kill that contract whenever they see fit?

      • Dodgethis

        Have you ever worked in America? Employers can cut you at any time for Any reason, yet still expect you to show up every day.

        • jopeness

          true but this is contractual/union work which differs than the employment at will.

          • Thomas Bliss

            Yeah but with most companies using union workers all they have to say is reducing of force and wait a couple of weeks before hiring someone to replace you.

      • forstyle

        the contract is negotiated by both sides. contracts can be fully guaranteed if players stand up for themselves. the NFL players have nobody but themselves to blame for the contracts that they sign. they give the teams the right to cut them, they have to live with the contract they sign, holding out and cutting a player are completely different. teams cutting a player is completely allowed the signed contract, it’s the players fault they don’t demand fully guaranteed contracts.

  2. Simmons>Russ

    NFL is the complete opposite of the NBA in terms of giving the players power. NFL owners hold all the power and are so much tighter with their money.

    Its so funny how as a first round pick say like Tua, your going to be leading a franchise and be absolutely it’s most vital piece moving forward but your going getting paid peanuts compared to the veterans in your position. And the deal you sign has this kind of crap in it to safe guard the owners if they think you become a bust so you don’t earn two checks at the same time.
    You’d think the owners would value the players more in this situation and bring them in giving them this cheap deal and embracing them, wanting to make them happy and he’ll them not try cheap them out of something from the get go

    • I give no fox

      Do you remember the old system? Where every qb drafted became the highest paid player? That was a true abomination. You have guys busting their butts and can’t get paid because some rookie who never played a game is getting paid like a superstar.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    Owners want insurance against non performance but I don’t see them offering the ticket buying fans any rebates when the team stinks.

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