Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick Morris Claiborne runs drills alone during NFL football practice, Wednesday, May 23, 2012, in Irving, Texas. (Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The Dallas Cowboys waited until June to start signing their draft picks. Now, it is uncertain if their first round pick will sign with the team before camp. Cornerback Morris Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft, has yet to agree to terms.
Agent Bus Cook tells Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com that Cook doesn’t know whether a deal will be done before training camp opens on July 25.
“I have no idea, don’t know,” Cook said. “I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Currently, zero of the first eight draft picks have signed with their teams. The question of whether their fully-guaranteed contracts will include offset language provides the primary stumbling block for the picks.
Claiborne’s agent did not go into details as to the hang up between the two parties, but it is assumed that, similar to the other eight players, the fully-guaranteed contract is holding them up.
Last month, Cowboys executive V.P. Stephen Jones acknowledged that the offset language is the culprit. That’s probably what is holding everybody up, because the money is the money,” Jones said, via Watkins. “I think everyone wants to be consistent at the end of the day. I think that is what is holding everything up, see what is going to be the flavor of the day.”
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com explains more about the hang ups within the contracts. “The teams believe that, if the player is cut before his four-year deal expires, and if he gets another job elsewhere, anything he makes with a new team should reduce what he’s owed under his fully-guaranteed contract. The players (or, more accurately, their agents) believe that the compensation has changed so dramatically at the top of the draft under the new labor deal that the teams should be willing to assume the entire financial risk arising from what ultimately would be an admission that they made a mistake by taking the player at the top of the draft.
It’s a given that the first 16 players taken will receive fully-guaranteed four-year deals. Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, the ninth overall pick, avoided the offset language. The eight players taken before him want that same term — especially since four of them are represented by CAA, the same firm that represents Kuechly.
As to the non-CAA players in the top eight, like Claiborne, there’s a very good chance that the agents are waiting to see what happens with the quartet of CAA clients.”
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