Unsigned Second-Rounders Pushing For Additional Guarantees

While all 32 first-round picks have signed their rookie contracts, most of the players chosen just after this group have not. The first player in this draft sector to sign — Texans safety Jalen Pitre, the No. 37 overall pick — has created an issue for other teams to navigate.

Only 17 of this year’s 32 second-round picks have signed their four-year deals. That includes just two of the first 11 players chosen in the round. Pitre receiving three fully guaranteed years on his deal looks to have led to the slowdown here, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes.

The NFLPA has made steady gains on the guaranteed front. Last year, only seven second-rounders received even a partial Year 3 salary guarantee. Only the first two picks in that round — the Jaguars’ Tyson Campbell and the Jets’ Elijah Moore — secured three fully guaranteed years. Last year’s No. 37 overall pick (Eagles guard Landon Dickerson) received only 40.72% of his third year guaranteed, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. Pitre’s 100% guaranteed has almost certainly called for the players drafted in that vicinity to ask for the same setup.

Titans cornerback Roger McCreary (No. 35), Jets running back Breece Hall (No. 36) and Falcons edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie (No. 38) are unsigned. Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon (No. 39), however, did agree on his rookie deal. How Chicago sorted his guarantees should have an impact on the unsigned players shortly after that draft slot (Seahawks edge Boye Mafe, Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker Jr., Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth and Giants wideout Wan’Dale Robinson). The Texans gave No. 44 overall pick John Metchie two years fully guaranteed and 56% of third year guaranteed. No. 46 overall pick Josh Paschal received a partial third year guaranteed, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Only seven second-rounders saw any third-year guarantees last year.

The Texans can be credited with injecting some drama into a fairly routine process, and Pitre’s three guaranteed years illustrates the gains the players’ side has made since the 2011 draft reshaped rookie contracts. Only 21 first-rounders that year received fully guaranteed deals. This year, all 32 did. Every second-rounder should also receive two fully guaranteed years, with the Broncos doing so for the final pick in that round — edge Nik Bonitto.

View Comments (3)