Agent Talk: The Time to Sign is Now

The San Diego Chargers and the NFL as a whole have historically waited until early July to sign their draft picks. This year has proven no different. Seventh round pick Andrew Pinnock is the only 2003 draftee to sign. Now just two weeks away from training camp, the time crunch is on…and agents have begun to talk…

It's well after the Fourth of July. Do you know where your draft picks are?

The Chargers typically don't have draft picks signed before July 4, but after Quentin Jammer's holdout until the second game of the season last year the hope was that they might start earlier this year.

From the indicators so far, talks haven't gotten serious yet. Chargers Update put in calls late this week to many of the agents and little has happened.

Terrence Kiel, represented by Strategic Sports Group, is just lucky to be alive after an attempted carjacking that resulted in three bullet wounds, one of which is still lodged in his abdomen. The Chargers were set to examine Kiel late this week. Expect the Chargers to act in good faith during negotiations regardless of what the doctors determine during their exam.

Wesley Spencer, the agent for Drayton Florence, says it is still a little too early to discuss.

"We don't really know anything yet, we got our first contract proposal late yesterday (Thursday) and we were just going over it this morning (Friday)," Spencer said. "It is just a little too early right now."

"I figure something ought to come together in the next little while," Spencer added.

Fans hope negotiations really start heating up as well with just two weeks to go before camp officially opens.

Sammy Davis is represented by the well-known Jimmy Sexton, and with Davis being the 30th pick in the first round, Sexton could be waiting to see how other players are slotted before and after Davis.

The Chargers' rookie cap is set at $3,445,654 by the league, and thus far not much of it has been used. Pinnock signed a three-year deal worth $945,650. The contract includes the standard rookie minimum base salaries ($225K in 2003, $305K in 2004 & $380K in 2005) with a signing bonus of $35,650.

Usually, the later-round picks are signed first, and Pinnock was the Chargers' seventh-round selection lending credence to this philosophy. He is expected to compete for time as a short yardage runner and a possible threat out of the backfield around the goal line.

The question is where are the other late round draft picks?

It is almost a waiting game among some agents and teams. They both are looking to see what other players are getting around their picks and are looking to get as much as possible out of the rookie cap.

With just one draft pick signed, the prospects of getting each of them in camp might not look bright. But this seems to be the normal pace of discussions with the Chargers, and the league. Hopefully the Quentin Jammer holdout was an exception, not the rule.

They now have exactly two weeks to keep holdouts the exception rather than a trend.

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Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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