One man’s view on why so few top 10 rookie contracts are done…

Browns RB Trent Richardson is one player whose contract isn’t quite done yet (Associated Press)

The summer is almost upon us, with most teams finishing up their minicamps this week. For those who aren’t, they’ll wrap up next week. Given the new rookie wage scale, the common thought was that most rookie deals would be done before the summer.

And yeah, most are. But not in the Top 8. As our friends at Pro Football Talk have explained, the battle over offset language has taken shape.

Players and their agents, if players are cut before the end of their four-year deal, want to be able to “double-dip” and receive what’s left of their salary from the old team and a new salary with a new team.

Teams don’t want that. They don’t understand why players should receive extra money for nothing. So, teams want offset language, players do not. (I had to look it up and say it slowly to make sure that was right.)

Yesterday, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones was asked what is holding up the deal for No. 6 pick CB Morris Claiborne. And he pointed not only to this struggle, but also to agents simply looking around and seeing what everyone else is doing. He’s not worried. Deals will get done. But Jones sounded a little miffed at what should be an easy process.

That’s what’s probably holding everybody up, because the money’s the money,” said Jones, when asked about the offset language fight. “I think everybody wants to be consistent at the end of the day. That’s what’s holding everybody up. What’s going to be the flavor of the day?

The fight does seem a little petty, with players clamoring to get a little more money they didn’t earn on the back-end of their deals. But agents are doing their job, trying to get as much as possible. If there’s a scrap to be grabbed, both sides will scramble to grab it.

Claiborne’s agent, Bus Cook seems to be waiting for those around him to finish up before seeing what he can get. Asked about Cook’s stance, Jones said, “His stance is, ‘What’s everybody else’s stance? No (laughs), he doesn’t want offset (language).”

Last year’s first-rounder OT Tyron Smith has off-set language. As Jones succinctly explained, “We want offset language. The player doesn’t want it. They want us to have to pay them if they get cut and signed by a new team.

Still, it seems like this is all kind of a formality that will be worked out.

It’s arookie wage scale,” Jones said. “The thing is pretty much done for us. There are some details we gotta get worked out, but I don’t see any reason to be alarmed.”

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