With Jermaine Gresham missing the team's first practice during Training Camp, we can kickoff our Jermaine Gresham holdout watch. We've even updated our dinky little timer to show how long Gresham remains unsigned. We're not sure how long it will last, but since it's technically a holdout, we're including it.
As of this posting, the Oakland Raiders' Rolando McClain is the only the third first round draft pick signed. According to ESPN, the contract is worth $23 million guaranteed with $40 million total on a five-year deal. McClain is the first top-ten pick signed this year.
We wrote last week that if we included Dez Bryant's 12.3% increase in base pay and 9% increase in guaranteed money over last year's 24th overall draft pick, Gresham could sign something to around a five-year deal worth $13.7 million with $9 million guaranteed. However, that actually doesn't really matter until the slotting system actually fills in. With guys like Sam Bradford unsigned, that slotting system for the first round is struggling to get established on later picks. For example, Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz admitted that they're waiting on Bradford's deal before getting defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh signed.
It would be easy to blame Gresham's people or even the Bengals organization. But I'm not sure either deserve it. Until draft picks are signed in the top-ten -- if not the top-five -- and especially until the slots that the Bengals picked start filling out, don't expect Gresham to sign anytime soon because that's the system being used by the league. However, we figure once Bradford signs, there will be a massive surge of first round picks signing contracts to get into camp.
Yes, yes. Having a rookie scale makes a ton of sense and the league really wants to go in that direction, as part of the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement. However, until that is agreed between the owners and the players and written in language, this is the system we're dealing with. And what we're now dealing with, is a waiting game.