Top 8 picks unsigned, but Vikings' Matt Kalil shouldn't be an issue
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There is no concern within Minnesota Vikings headquarters about No. 4 overall draft pick Matt Kalil signing before players report to training camp on July 26.
He'll get a fully-guaranteed, four-year deal worth around $20 million with a fifth-year option, in accordance with the wage scale established by the collective-bargaining agreement that was finalized last summer.
The slotting system has already yielded contracts for many draft picks -- including seven of the Vikings' nine selections, with only Kalil and third-round pick Josh Robinson unsigned -- at a time negotiations under the old CBA just were getting started.
But the top eight picks in the NFL Draft all remain unsigned, and according to longtime NFL reporter Len Pasquarelli, a relatively minor issue may be part of the holdup.
Per Pasquarelli, all eight teams are pushing for so-called "offset language" that would take them off the hook for a player's salary if he is released before the rookie deal is up and subsequently signs with a new team.
Such language probably wouldn't even come into play. If a first-round pick is released within three years, the team that drafted him blew it big-time -- and any player who has failed that badly (think JaMarcus Russell) may have trouble landing elsewhere anyway.
But every agent tries to get the best deal for his client, and the fact Carolina has signed the No. 9 pick, linebacker Luke Kuechly, to a deal that reportedly includes no offset language means all agents in the top eight no doubt want the same.
Kuechly's deal was negotiated by Ben Dogra and Tom Condon of CAA -- the same agency that represents No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III, No. 3 pick Trent Richardson and Kalil. (No. 1 pick Andrew Luck is represented by his uncle, Will Wilson.)
Kalil has been participating in organized team activity practices without a contract, which isn't allowed in training camp. There's no reason at this point, though, to think Kalil's deal won't be done in plenty of time.
Here are the top eight picks and who represents them, per a list of standard representation agreements provided by the NFL Players' Association:
1. Indianapolis: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Will Wilson)
2. Washington: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (Ben Dogra)
3. Cleveland: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama (Ben Dogra/Jimmy Sexton)
4. Vikings: Matt Kalil, LT, Southern California (Tom Condon/Ben Dogra)
5. Jacksonville: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (Todd France)
6. Dallas: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU (James "Bus" Cook, Ricky L. Simmons)
7. Tampa Bay: Mark Barron, S, Alabama (Jimmy Sexton)
8. Miami: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M (Pat Dye)