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Negotiating With Rookies

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Old 06-01-2005, 12:16 AM   #1
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Negotiating With Rookies

CrazyCanuck or some other wise one,

Today's Washington Post article notes, "Negotiations with top draft picks do not normally begin until July." Can you please tell me why negotiations with rookies start so late? I understand that many teams/agents want to wait to see what kind of deals other rookies get, but that doesn't seem like a good reason to not start negotiating until the 11th hour.

Here are some reasons why it is dumb for teams/agents to hold off on negotiating rookie contracts until July:

First, rookies want to get into camp as soon as possible so they have the best chance of cracking the starting lineup. Holding out isn't the way to get a lot of those starts or endear yourself to the coaching staff. It also sets a rookie a long ways back for a long, long time.....just as Akili Smith.

Second, teams want top draft picks to enter the starting lineup as soon as possible. Waiting to see what other teams offer other rookies is a sure way to ensure your favorite "rook" doesn't come to camp on time.

Third, hold outs adversely affect a team's/player's public relations. Nothing makes fans more pissed off than a team that hasn't signed a player to a contract or a rookie who's holding out for more money.

Fifth, considering that the 2005 draftees can only have their signing bonuses pro-rated over 5 years (due to a lack of an extension of the CBA), negotiating deals with this year's rookies should be immensely troublesome. Both teams and rookies should want to get down to business ASAP.

I just don't understand it. Can someone please clear this all up for me?
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:31 AM   #2
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

Dont forget that agents don't act in the best interest of the team or even the player, he just goes after the best deal. Besides the fact that they are waiting to see what kind of deals other rookies are getting, they are waiting to see what other moves a team makes, and what kind of money is freed up after the June 1 cuts.
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:11 AM   #3
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hijinx
Dont forget that agents don't act in the best interest of the team or even the player, he just goes after the best deal. Besides the fact that they are waiting to see what kind of deals other rookies are getting, they are waiting to see what other moves a team makes, and what kind of money is freed up after the June 1 cuts.
The thing is, typically rookie contracts are only 7% more than those the previous year's draftee (of the same pick) got. So, it's not like they're just making up numbers, the contract's total value and signing bonus (except for the top 3 picks) is pretty much determined.
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Old 06-01-2005, 05:21 AM   #4
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

those are some interesting numbers that i really never knew of. i just wish we had our picks sign so we know who we could go after to finish filling our rosters with some quality free agents.
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:37 AM   #5
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

Well training camps don't usually begin until the end of July, so if you start negotiating in the beginning of July there's no reason the rookies can't get into training camp on time.

Secondly, all of our draft picks are attending OTAs right now, even though they don't have contracts. So we don't have to worry about them missing time.

The reason you wait until July is because on June 1 a round of cuts are made around the NFL for salary cap purposes. Usually teams spend the month of June clearing salary cap space or scouring the waiver wire for recently released players that they can sign on the cheap and plug roster holes (like how the Eagles grabbed Trotter last year).

Negotiations usually start taking place once everyone has their salary cap ducks in a row. Figure late June or early July.
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:38 AM   #6
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

Speaking of cuts, has anyone gotten dropped like they were hot yet?
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:41 AM   #7
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

This may be a dumb question but I don't know so I must ask. What is a teams obligation to a player after they draft them? Do we have to sign them? Could we just cut them? Can we trade them? I think I know the answer to that one after the Manning deal.
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:20 AM   #8
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

That is a good question. I'm sure before they are signed to any type of deal, the team has control over trading, cutting, and of course signing. I don't know of any top round draft picks that were cut from the team that drafted them do you?
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

When you draft a guy, you get his "rights" for one year. During that one year, you have to sign the player to a contract, or you can trade his "rights" to somebody else, who then has the remainder of the year to sign him. That's what the Chargers did, they traded the rights to Manning to the Giants for the rights to Rivers and a bunch of other picks.

If the year expires and you don't have him signed to a contract, I think he goes back into the NFL draft. I'm not certain though, it may be possible that he becomes a free agent. Either way, I can't remember a time when this ever happened in the NFL.

I do know that in baseball, if you draft a guy and don't sign him after one year he goes back into the draft the next year. This happened with JD Drew and the Phillies, they drafted him and he wouldn't take their deal. They decided not to meet his demands and just let him go back into the draft, and the next year the Cards picked him. Seems like the Phillies made the right call in standing up for themselves there, because even though they completely lost a high pick Drew hasn't done much except for his one good season last year as a Brave. He even looks crappy this year as a Dodger.
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:12 PM   #10
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

Bottom line all these agents are afraid to make an early deal that will then be topped later on in July. That will make them look bad and hurt their future dealings with players. Basically, all these agents are the root of so many problems in pro sports...
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:23 PM   #11
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Re: Negotiating With Rookies

Adam Schefter said that the one player who signed in June last year (Jason Babin)
got a better deal than some of the guys drafted higher than him who signed in July.
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