Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said that he hopes to sign his contract in time to report to Redskins Park on Monday along with his fellow rookies as they prepare for the July 26 kickoff of training camp.
Griffin is one of around 30 rookies — 14 first-rounders — who have yet to sign with the teams that drafted them. But Griffin said Tuesday night that negotiations are ongoing, and that he, his agent and the Redskins all remain committed to getting him in camp on time.
“I talked to my agent the other day, and he said they had been talking last week then took a break over the weekend, but from what I’ve heard I think it’s gonna get done,” Griffin said at the Gatorade National High School Athletes of the Year award dinner in Hollywood, Calif., where he was a presenter. “I think my agent and the Redskins both know it’s paramount for me to be in camp on time, and I think they’re going to work towards that.”
Since the Redskins’ offseason workouts concluded on June 14, Griffin has spent the better part of the last month training in Texas. Two weeks ago, he hosted a group of Redskins wide receivers in Waco for a passing camp. Griffin will remain in Los Angeles for the ESPYs before flying to D.C. on Thursday.
Although training camp doesn’t begin until July 26, rookies will report to Redskins Park for conditioning and additional work on Monday. Griffin’s goal is to avoid missing any classroom or practice time.
“I’ll be in D.C. on Thursday. I will be there this Thursday, and hopefully by the 16th, I’ll be signed and ready to go,” Griffin said. “I have no objections — I’m not trying to hold out or make it seem like it’s not a big deal. It’s just [that] I’m not concerned about it, because I’m sure they’ll make it happen.”
Andrew Luck, taken first overall and one spot higher than Griffin, has yet to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, and it’s believed that the completion of his deal could trigger the remaining unsigned contracts.
When the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement last year, they put in place a rookie pay system, so it’s already known around what Griffin will make. He likely will sign a four-year deal worth $21 million guaranteed, including a $14 million signing bonus – figures that are similar to the contract that 2011 No. 2 overall pick Von Miller received from Denver.
“Everybody’s looking for leverage, being in a business like this,” Griffin said. “[But] there’s no leverage here. We need to make sure it happens and both sides need to agree. So I trust [that] the guys around me and the Skins will make sure that happens.”
Washington has signed seven of its nine 2012 draft picks with the team’s third-rounder, guard Josh LeRibeus, also unsigned. Coach Mike Shanahan said last month, however, that he expected all of the contracts to be finalized before the start of training camp.
Another area to keep an eye on is Thursday’s NFL’s supplemental draft, which features seven prospects, including Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon, TCU running back Ed Wesley, Boise State cornerback Quaylon Ewing-Burton, Syracuse fullback Adam Harris, Iowa State tackle Adrian Haughton, Alabama A&M linebacker Larry Lumpkin, Georgia defensive end Montez Robinson and McMurry wide receiver Houston Tuminello.
NFL teams are allowed to bid 2013 draft picks on those players, who have been dismissed from their college programs.
The Redskins have been doing their homework on several prospects, including Gordon – Griffin’s former teammate – according to people with knowledge of the situation.
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