With one month to go until the start of training camp, it’s hardly time to go into panic mode, but the Green Bay Packers have not come to terms with first-round draft pick Datone Jones.
Last year, the Packers signed first-rounder Nick Perry, the 28th overall selection, on May 14.
This year, the Packers signed the final nine of their draft picks on May 10 and second-round pick Eddie Lacy on May 29. That left only Jones, the 26th overall selection.
The holdup isn’t limited to Green Bay. Just 10 of 32 first-round picks are signed, including only Alec Ogletree (No. 30, St. Louis) beyond the top 20.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, there’s not much to be negotiated by vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball and the draft picks’ agents. All draft choices are given four-year contracts and the value of those contracts has been predetermined. Jones, for instance, will get a $3.99 million signing bonus and a total deal worth $7.72 million.
That leaves guaranteed as the major item for negotiation.
With Perry, the Packers not only gave him a $3.894 million signing bonus but fully guaranteed his 2012, 2013 and 2014 base salaries. That meant $6.087 million of his $7.5 million deal was guaranteed. In 2015, not a penny of Perry’s deal is guaranteed, and there are no roster or workout bonuses.
That makes the contract signed by Ogletree — the player nearest Jones to be signed — a potential sticking point. Not only are Ogletree’s first three years guaranteed, but if he’s good enough to stick around for his fourth season, he will receive a $350,000 roster bonus and a $350,000 bonus for showing up to training camp.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.