July 10, 02013
The Philadelphia Eagles have yet to sign right tackle Lane Johnson, the fourth overall pick in the draft.
With about two weeks to go until the start of training camp, this wouldn’t qualify as news in the past. But since the change in the CBA in 2011, draft picks are signed in a smoother fashion with slotting controlling the money going to each pick.
The hang up for most players unsigned? Offset language. As Tim McManus of Philly Magazine explains that is indeed the case with Johnson. Offset language doesn’t impact the value of a fully guaranteed contract. But it does prevent the player from double dipping in the rare instance where he is cut, clears waivers and signs a new contract with another club. For example, offset language would prevent the Eagles from having to pay Johnson for a fourth year in 2016 if after having been released he re-signed elsewhere. Players are saying a full guarantee should be just that a full guarantee. Teams say that with offset language the player still receives maximum value of his contract, even if it comes from another team.
“I’m just trying to get a similar deal to everyone else,” Johnson told McManus. “I just want to do what everyone else has done, the picks above and below me.
“I think it will be resolved, especially in the next week or two. I don’t want to hold out. I want to be there with the guys. I want to be with the team and I think something will happen in the next week or so.”
There is going to need to be some action for some of the picks near the top of the draft to see some movement.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune