Agent: Slow pace of rookie signings not unusual
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The pace of NFL draft picks signing with teams continues to be at a trickle with many NFL training camps now opening in less than three weeks. A couple more fifth-rounders got done Friday: North Carolina nose tackle Cam Thomas (146th overall) signed with San Diego and Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless (154th overall) got his deal done with Green Bay.
It’s been weeks since the Dolphins have announced any signings, and with both first-rounder Jared Odrick and second-rounder Koa Misi expected to contend for starting jobs, we asked an agent if there’s any cause for concern.
The agent pulled out his records and ran down the signing dates for all the second-rounders last year. A few agreed to terms in early August, after camps had already opened; most signed a few days before camps started.
The agent said he had a second-rounder with Cleveland last year, which is intriguing since Dawn Aponte, who is handling the contracts for Miami, was with the Browns a year ago. That second-rounder, one of three selected by the Browns, got done the day before camp opened.
Most of the Dolphin coaching staff and front-office types have been on vacation and will be returning shortly. The agent said there’s no sense of urgency despite the fact only one second-rounder has signed, with the Jets getting offensive tackle Vladimir Ducasse under contract a week or so ago. No first-rounders have signed.
The positive in all this is that most picks and agents understand there’s a slotting process that goes on and once you’re slotted there’s not much wiggle room. As an example, Miami gave fifth-round cornerback Nolan Carroll a four-year deal worth $1.79 million with a $191,750 signing bonus. In signing Thomas Friday, who was taken one pick later than Carroll, the Chargers gave him $1.79 million plus a $191,000 signing bonus. And the Packers gave Quarless the same four-year base with a $182,425 signing bonus. When you’re talking a few thousand dollars or, in the case of Carroll and Thomas, a few hundred, there’s not a lot of room for negotiation.