Redskins getting draft picks signed quickly

May 21, 2013

David Amerson (left) and Baccari Rambo are among the Redskins’ draft picks already signed to contracts. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins, like other NFL teams, are finding it easier to sign their rookies to contracts under the rookie pay system put in place by the 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union.

Gone, apparently, are the days when teams would leave negotiations with their rookies until the final few weeks before the opening of training camp in July — and fret about whether their early-round draft picks would sign contracts in time to report to camp as scheduled.

The Redskins have signed six of the seven players they drafted last month to deals. Their only unsigned rookie is tight end Jordan Reed, a third-round choice.

“I think the new system has simplified everything,” Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen said Monday in Richmond. “I’ve never had a rookie holdout. I’ve never worried about the holding-out part of it. [But] it has simplified everything and I think it’s made [Redskins chief negotiator] Eric Schaffer’s life much, much easier.”

Contracts were simplified by the new system. The length of deals for drafted rookies is set at four years, with a fifth-season team option for first-round picks (undrafted rookies sign three-year contracts). Contracts for third- through seventh-round choices contain a standard escalator clause. Other complex contract provisions like buy-back clauses were eliminated.

The precise value of each rookie’s contract is not predetermined. But teams are given minimum contract values for each of the players they draft. They’re also given a rookie salary cap figure for the upcoming season and a cap figure for that year’s group of drafted rookies over the four seasons of their original contracts. So the negotiating process has been greatly streamlined.

Redskins’ draft picks signing:

Second-round cornerback David Amerson | Fourth-round safety Phillip Thomas

Seventh-round running back Jawan Jamison | Fifth-round running back Chris Thompson

Sixth-round safety Baccari Rambo, fifth-round linebacker Brandon Jenkins

More Redskins and NFL coverage:

Photo gallery: Redskins training camp facility in Richmond

Allen: Redskins did not expect to be able to keep team intact in free agency

D.C. Sports Bog: The new Griffining is posing in front of wedding gifts

D.C. Sports Bog: Alfred Morris’s Eastern Motors commercial 

Morning Pixels: Tiger Woods on RGIII

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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