Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFLPA and NFL owners, rookies signing their initial contract as a professional has become nothing more than a formality. Depending on what round the player was drafted, they are immediately slotted into a pay scale which can’t be negotiated. But that doesn’t mean the entire contract can’t have some negotiations. Players can negotiate signing bonuses as part of their contract, and more often than not players will wait to see what other players sign for to give them some leverage in negotiations.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, 6 of their 7 rookies have all signed their rookie contracts — except Terrell Edmunds.
The team’s top draft pick isn’t holding out of workouts or anything like that, but said he is going to take his time signing his contract.
“I’m not even worried about it,” Edmunds Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Tuesday. “I know it will get done one of these days. It’s not going to change anything about my game. I’m still going to be out there trying to put my best on the field.”
More from Rutter regarding how NFL rookies can leverage some more cash from the team:
Edmunds’ brother, Tremaine, who was drafted No. 16 overall by the Buffalo Bills, signed his four-year rookie contract exactly a month ago. He got a signing bonus worth nearly $7.3 million and almost $12.7 million overall.
With rookies holding little leverage, Terrell Edmunds can expect a deal a little higher than what the No. 28 player in 2017 received. Taco Charlton got a $5.433,556 signing bonus and a $10,028638 total contract from the Dallas Cowboys.
Selected two picks later than Charlton, Watt got a $4.873,504 signing bonus and a $9,258,568 deal.
As for Edmunds, he is staying out of negotiations. Rather, leaving that up to his parents and his agency to get him the best deal possible.
“You can definitely negotiate a little bit, but I try to stay out of that,” Edmunds said. “I let my parents take over and let my agents handle it. I’ll just make the final say-so with everything.”
When will he sign a deal? The Steelers would likely want to get everyone locked up by the end of minicamp (Thursday), but there shouldn’t be a concern of this turning into a Joey Bosa situation for the Chargers last year where he sat out of practices due to his stance on the contract situation.
A deal will likely be done sooner than later.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they press through minicamp and start preparations for their 2018 training camp at Saint Vincent College.