Thursday, July 18, 2013

'Offset language' slowing Jets' rookie signings


With the New York Jets' rookies slated to report to training camp Monday, Gang Green's top three 2013 draft picks -- cornerback Dee Milliner, defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and quarterback Geno Smith -- remain without contracts.

Milliner (No. 9 overall) is one of seven top-10 picks yet to be signed, and Richardson was drafted at No. 13 overall, so their lack of contracts at this point aren't necessarily shocking. However, Smith is one of just three second-rounders without a deal.

In total, 28 NFL rookies are without contracts as of Thursday.

ESPN New York's Rich Cimini wrote Wednesday that John Idzik's "reputation for being a hardline negotiator" and his and the Jets' insisting on "offset language" with rookie first-rounders is the reason things are moving slowly.
"Offset language means teams recoup future guaranteed money if they cut a player and he signs elsewhere. Whatever the player earns from his new team is subtracted from what the old team owes him. It prevents "double dipping" by the player.
". . . Another issue in the Milliner and Richardson talks could be signing-bonus payout. I'm told that Idzik is a staunch believer in holding on to as much money as possible, deferring bonus payments."
Regardless, the Jets sort of need to hurry up.

Milliner has yet to practice with the team and is expected to be an immediate contributor, as is Richardson. Smith, who is competing with Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job, also needs as much work as possible, considering he might be calling signals with the first-stringers sooner than later.

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