Joel Corry, a former NFL agent, has written a good piece on some ongoing contract issues. One of the situations he addresses are unsigned Top 10 picks.
Here is what Corry had to say about Lane Johnson.
Dion Jordan and Lane Johnson, the third and fourth picks this year, might have the most difficult time of the remaining unsigned top 10 picks in avoiding offsets. The Dolphins have been adamant about offsets with Jordan because they don’t want to set an unfavorable precedent in contract negotiations. The guarantees in the contracts signed during Miami’s free agency spending spree — including Mike Wallace’s five-year, $60 million deal — contained offsets. The Dolphins will try to convince Jordan to take a similar tradeoff as Tannehill in order to preserve their precedent. Tannehill received a better payment schedule on his signing bonus (first-round picks usually have some portion of their signing bonus deferred) and minimum base salaries in 2013 through 2015, with the rest of his annual compensation in sixth-day-of-training-camp roster bonuses.
Johnson has stated he only wants the same treatment as last year’s fourth pick but doesn’t want to hold out. The Philadelphia Eagles are sensitive to offsets because of Nnamdi Asomugha’s 2011 deal, which made him the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback. Four million of Asomugha’s 2013 base salary was fully guaranteed without an offset. The Eagles released him in March after he refused to a take a substantial pay cut. Asomugha will receive $4 million from the Eagles and $1.35 million from the one-year contract that he subsequently signed with San Francisco 49ers this year because of the lack of an offset.
I expect Johnson and the Eagles to work this out. This isn’t like the old days when they could be millions of dollars apart.
If you want to better understand “offsets”, go read the article. Corry explains them in there.