Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Both first-round picks still unsigned
By Rich Cimini
UPDATE: First-round pick Sheldon Richardson is expected to be in training camp Thursday, a source confirmed Wednesday night, meaning he's on the verge of finalizing a contract. It will be a four-year deal for $10.05 million, fully guaranteed.
The Jets face the prospect of opening training camp Thursday without their two first-round picks, CB Dee Milliner (No. 9 overall) and DT Sheldon Richardson (No. 13), both of whom were unsigned as of Wednesday night.
Negotiations are ongoing and the Jets are hoping to wrap up deals by Thursday. They certainly want to finalize them by Friday, when they practice for the first time.
In theory, rookie negotiations should be streamlined under the current CBA, which has a wage scale, but the issue of offset language is holding up deals in the first round. As of Wednesday night, Milliner and Richardson were among six picks in the top 14 without contracts. The Jets' policy is to include offsets; the players don't want offsets.
Basically, an offset allows the team to save some money -- otherwise guaranteed -- in the unlikely event they cut the player before the fourth year. It shouldn't be a major issue, and it would be a surprise if Milliner and Richardson miss any significant time in camp.
D-LINE DEPTH: The Jets added an experienced player to the defensive line, signing journeyman Leger Douzable, a source confirmed. Douzable, 27, has played for six different teams, including the Giants. He has 38 career tackles and one sack.
GENO BUCKS: The numbers of Geno Smith's four-year contract -- $5.019 million, including $3.068 million in guarantees. A $2.03 million signing bonus is included in the guarantee. Smith was seeking guarantees in the third year (shades of second-round QBs Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton in 2011), but he didn't get any. GM John Idzik refused to budge on that. As a compromise, they included nearly $700,000 in workout bonuses in the third and fourth years. The money isn't guaranteed, but he can get some cash before the season, assuming he participates in the offseason program.