While that may not sound very comforting, at least consider yourself fortunate that you're not a Detroit or Atlanta fan. Both teams open their training camps tomorrow, and as of press time for this article, neither one has a single pick signed.
Yep, you read that right. Not one pick.
I even heard from a source close to the NFL that it's unlikely that Detroit's top three picks will be in camp anytime soon. That includes former Wisconsin running back Brian Calhoun, their third-round pick, who was a favorite amongst some Colts fans prior to the draft, and second-round safety Daniel Bullocks, who was a pre-draft visitor to Indianapolis.
So is it time to panic, Colts fans? Well, based on the amount of time that is still available to the team and the agents to get the deals worked out, the answer is "no." Although the Colts technically open their camp on Sunday, in reality, it's a reporting date. They don't even have to be there until early afternoon and will spend part of the day just moving in.The really serious stuff begins Monday morning. That means there's still almost four full negotiating days remaining. Agents can get their players on a plane on Saturday or even Sunday if they think they are even remotely close to a deal. That way, if the deal is finalized Sunday night, the player can be in Terre Haute before the team takes the field Monday morning.
So one thing's for certain. Team officials and the agents won't be sitting back watching re-runs of The Simpsons or kicking back at a family barbeque this weekend with hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not millions – hanging in the balance.
From a time perspective, the sources I've been talking to this week and even today aren't all that concerned. What is a bit alarming is what I heard from one source who said that talks are "no where" in regards to any of the picks being close to signing as of today. If his assessment is correct, don't expect to hear of any signings before mid-afternoon Thursday unless there's an unusual breakthrough – and that might even be a stretch.
The overall consensus I'm hearing from sources close to the NFL is that the team has been conservative at this point and the back-and-forth between them and some of the agents is at no better than a steady pace, certainly not reflective of the urgency some fans are feeling at this point.
An underlying fear for many fans is how all of this impacts getting top pick Joseph Addai into camp. Honestly, that shouldn't be a major concern as it's unlikely that you're going to see the signings come in one after the other, slotted in their positions. Remember last year when the Colts' top pick, Marlin Jackson, signed before 2nd-rounder Kelvin Hayden and even 7th-rounder Anthony Davis? So don't assume that Addai will be the last to sign and will miss camp. In fact, based on what I'm hearing, the 50-50 odds I referenced a few days ago regarding him getting into camp on time haven't deteriorated even though substantial time has ticked off the clock. The sides don't appear to be at odds over any major issues as of yet based on information I've received to date, and that's good news.
So take a deep breath, Colts fans. I'll keep you posted on any new developments and trends, but it looks like we're in for an interesting weekend. In addition to watching for breaking news stories, be sure to visit our Insiders Forum where I'll drop tidbits of what I'm hearing that may not qualify for a full home-page story write-up.