Draft pick signings slow across the league

Why is it that every year draft picks wait until the last minute to sign their deals and often miss training camp? The Jets have two second round picks and it is rare for a second round pick to miss camp – but why the hold up that says a team must wait until the last week before signing?

Is it the urgency of camp starting that dictates the progress of talks?

Not necessarily.

Some of the stalled progress has to do with money and not the compensation being bandied about in negotiations.

Games are in session between August and January and the money drought could be a direct correlation between when season ticket renewals go out and the money actually comes in. If ticket renewal notices are sent out in May and the money is arriving in early July – that would be one constant that cannot be circumvented.

Bonuses are payable immediately. While no franchise is in dire straits concerning revenue, there is fiscal responsibility that plays a role and given that no team even begins talking contract until July with their top picks it carries some weight. Why pay out money when there is no action or even camp going on?

Seventy of the seventy-five picks signed have been taken in the second day. And that makes sense given the large allocation given to players taken on day one, specifically in the first round.

Another reason for the delay, no market has been set. The floodgates have yet to crack. No agent wants to step on the brown paper bag on their doorstep and find it is filled with poop.

And don't forget about the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. Contracts with large signing bonuses are being spread across five years instead of six and that has caused a number crunch at the top of the draft and more creative thinking.

Generally there is one player signing and agents have a barometer to go by to sign the subsequent pick. That has not been established this year – until perhaps now when it comes to signing and the New York Jets.

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, a second round pick taken 52nd overall, signed a four year deal worth approximately $3 million, plus a $1.435 million signing bonus. Barnes was taken five picks in front of Justin Miller and five behind kicker Mike Nugent.

That middle ground could be beneficial to the Jets signing strategy.

Talks with each of the New York Jets second round picks have barely begun, according to their agents.

"There is nothing to report on the Nugent thing," agent Ken Harris said of the progress between his client and the Jets. "We are just talking. Generally when it comes down to this crunch time people start to talk more and certainly that is what is going on but I have nothing to report."

With a week to go before camp, expect talks to escalate quickly. While one day it may seem there is nothing to report, that tune changes quickly.

In the end, now that camp is almost upon us, there is truly nothing that would prohibit the Jets from signing their picks. It is just a shame it always has to take this long.


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