It is likely that Robert Griffin III will not sign a contract until at least one other player in the top eight draft picks signs. It would be most helpful if that player was the one who was picked immediately before RG3 was.
We have it on good authority that a deal between Andrew Luck and the Colts is “close”. That authority is team owner Jim Irsay, who said as much on Twitter. Once Luck is in the fold Ben Dogra, RG3’s agent, and Bruce Allen will have solid guidance on which to work out the contract.
Despite the apparent optimism in Irsay’s tweet, “close” doesn’t mean that a deal is imminent. You need not think back any more than to last summer when a resolution to the NFL labor dispute was “close” from sometime in mid-June until it finally was done in early August to know that a deal is either done or its not.
Although the parameters of the contract are set by the CBA—Griffin will get a shade over $21 million over four years—other aspects such as the signing bonus and “offsets”, which affect how much a player will get paid if he is released and picked up by another team, are points that can be negotiated. It is not known if disagreement on such issues is holding up RG3’s deal.
The holdup could be something as simple as the calendar. Many of those who would be involved in negotiations on both sides have been on vacation. The Monday after the July 4th holiday is the traditional day for all hands to be on deck around NFL facilities so talks should be heating up this week.
The traditional deadline for getting deals done has been the start of training camp. Under the new CBA, however, rookies can report about 10 days prior to the start of camp to get in some work but they can’t participate unless they are signed. That is some very valuable time at Redskins Park for RG3 so the real deadline for him is next Monday, July 16.
Given Griffin’s desire to soak up all of the knowledge and reps that he can, there is not reason to think that the contract won’t get done in time. But given that it is a big financial transaction there isn’t much reason to think that Dogra won’t hold out to push for everything he can get for his client. Look for a deal to happen sometime over next weekend.