Quarterback Robert Griffin III was not on hand Monday when other Washington Redskins rookies reported to Redskins Park for workouts prior to next week’s opening of training camp.
Griffin remains unsigned. He said last week that he’d hoped to sign a contract in time to report with his fellow rookies Monday for conditioning and classroom work prior to training camp. But the team and Griffin’s representatives continue to try to complete a four-year deal that is expected to be worth about $21 million under the sport’s rookie pay system. Griffin’s contract is expected to be fully guaranteed and contain a signing bonus of approximately $13.8 million.
Unsigned players cannot report to training camp, under NFL rules. A person familiar with the situation said that Griffin and guard Josh LeRibeus, a third-round draft choice who also remains unsigned, were not on hand Monday at Redskins Park. Griffin was in the D.C. area, as he attended the U.S. basketball exhibition games against Brazil at Verizon Center Monday night.
Several people with knowledge of the negotiations said Monday the main sticking point in the Griffin negotiations, as with the negotiations for the other unsigned top picks in the draft, is “offset” language in the deal. Teams are seeking contract language that would allow them, if they release the player and he signs with another team, to pay the released player less than the money guaranteed in the contract. A team, in that case, would be able to subtract the amount that the player earns from his new team. Players are resisting such contract language.
Those people with knowledge of the negotiations said that obstacle is significant but they nevertheless expect Griffin’s representatives and the Redskins to work out the final details of the contract relatively soon. One of those people also expressed doubt that Griffin would sign a contract before fellow prized rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, the top overall selection in the draft in April by the Indianapolis Colts, signs his deal. Griffin was taken second overall by the Redskins.
Redskins veterans are scheduled to report to training camp on July 25. The team’s first practice of camp is scheduled for July 26.