Currently ten players selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft have signed contracts, leaving 22 unsigned. Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville's first-round pick and the highest draft pick (No. 2) signed at this point, inked a four-year deal worth $21.2 million last month. Compare that to the 2009 NFL draft when the St. Louis Rams selected offensive tackle Jason Smith second overall, securing him to a six-year deal with $33 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $61 million.
Times have changed.
Though a handful of draft picks selected outside of the first-round remain unsigned, the bulk of those are currently from the first round. Tight end Tyler Eifert, selected No. 21 overall, is among them.
Here's the point.
It's all a non-story.
Thanks to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was signed in 2011, most of the guesswork regarding rookie contracts is gone. Everything is slotted with the remaining issues being how much of the contract is guaranteed.
Due to the much-needed revision, the Cincinnati Bengals haven't experienced a first-round holdout since Jermaine Gresham in 2010. And by that point, we had come to accept (though intensely irritated) that first-rounders were going to be holdouts, ranging anywhere from a couple of days to an entire month.
A.J. Green was the first Bengals player selected in the first-round following the new CBA. He's also the first Bengals player selected in the first-round that signed his rookie contract prior to the date players are required to report for training camp since Carson Palmer, who was selected and signed two days prior to the 2003 NFL draft. Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall signed around the same time that training camp began, with the latter only missing one practice.
Last year, returning to normal offseason deadlines and dates, the Bengals signed both of their first-round selections in May, over two months prior to the start of training camp.
|Year||Player||Pick||Length of Hold Out|
|2012||Kevin Zeitler||27th||Signed 65 days before Training Camp|
|2012||Dre Kirkpatrick||17th||Signed 72 days before Training Camp|
|2011||A.J. Green||4th||Signed two days before Training Camp|
|2010||Jermaine Gresham||21st||Held out 5 days|
|2009||Andre Smith||6th||Held out 30 days|
|2008||Keith Rivers||9th||Held out 10 days|
|2007||Leon Hall||18th||Missed a practice on the first day of Training Camp|
|2006||Johnathan Joseph||24th||Signed first day of camp.|
|2005||David Pollack||17th||Held out 19 days|
|2004||Chris Perry||26th||Held out 11 days|
|2003||Carson Palmer||1st||Signed two days before the NFL Draft.|
|2002||Levi Jones||10th||Signed first day of camp|
|2001||Justin Smith||4th||Signed one day before first regular season game.|
Eifert remains unsigned, but it's a non-issue. Eifert isn't worried. Neither are the Bengals. A contract may not be signed today or even this week, but there's no concerns about a rookie holdout. Those days are over.