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Getting A Deal Done: Timelines On Signing Cleveland Browns Rookies

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IJune 23, 2010

BEREA, OH - MAY 01: T.J. Ward #2 of the Cleveland Browns talks with Joe Haden #5 during rookie mini camp at the Cleveland Browns Training and Administrative Complex on May 1, 2010 in Berea, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Every summer, it's the same drama all over again: when teams are going to get their rookies signed.

With the exception of the Chicago Bears, who aggressively attacked the contract issue and locked in all their draft picks a few weeks ago, most teams are just now starting to try to get the rookie contracts finished.

Low-round draft picks have their salaries on a more rigid slotting system, so even if the player hasn't signed yet, like Clifton Geathers or Carlton Mitchell, they don't have a lot of bargaining room, and their signings are pretty much a foregone conclusion.

First-round pick Joe Haden, on the other hand, probably is being advised to wait and see how other first-round picks sign. The problem with that is there are a lot of other agents telling the other first-round picks the exact same thing.

Colt McCoy was a third-round pick, so he'll be a lot easier to sign than if he was a first-round pick, but he's still a quarterback, so that complicates things to a degree.

Second-round picks like T.J. Ward and Montario Hardesty don't usually play the holdout card, but anything can (and will) happen in the NFL.

From a fan standpoint, it would be nice if GM Tom Heckert can get all the deals done by the time the sun sets tonight, but that's probably not going to happen either.

The encouraging thing in all of this is that of the top draft picks, none of them look to be nursing the kind of ego that leads to a holdout, so now the team is at the mercy of the agent and how much influence said agent has over the player.

A smart player walks in with realistic expectations, looks at how the money is slotted and tells their agent to insist on a few things without demanding everything.

A dumb player just tells his agent to "Get me paid!"

While getting paid is the whole goal, you have to have a better plan than that, especially when it comes to your football contracts, because nothing in the NFL is guaranteed.

There are still almost six weeks until training camp opens, so there is still plenty of time, but that doesn't mean we'd all be a lot happier knowing there won't be any holdouts.

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