Darqueze Dennard not worried as he practices without Bengals contract

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

As the Cincinnati Bengals began Phase III of Organized Team Activities Tuesday, first-round cornerback Darqueze Dennard took to the practice field without having signed his rookie contract.

"I don't know what's going on," he said, shaking his head at his locker following the Bengals' first practice of organized team activities (OTAs). "I guess it's just a timing thing."

It seems like a small risk, but when you see news of the Dallas Cowboys losing linebacker Sean Lee to a torn ACL, it suddenly looks like a risky move.

Still, Dennard said he wasn't worried about getting hurt while not getting paid.

"Money's going to come," Dennard said. "If you do a great job in this game, you'll get rewarded for it. Money's not a big thing on my mind. The only thing on my mind is helping the team out and winning championships.

"I pray every day. If it's meant to happen, it's going to happen, regardless. give all my worries and problems to God. I know He's got a right plan for me. I'm going to believe in it."

The issue could be offset language, which cuts down on money owed should a player be cut before the end of his rookie deal. The mount of offset language in a contract can be negotiated, and it's delayed many contracts of top picks being signed.

Because Dennard was the 24th-overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, he's slated to sign a 4-year deal worth about $8 million, and that could include a fifth-year option if the Bengals exercise it.

Here's what his contract will look like, courtesy of Over the Cap:

Pick

Player

Signing 
Bonus

2014
Cap

2015
Cap

2016 
Cap

2017 
Cap

Total 
Value

1 (24)

Darqueze Dennard

$4,122,836

$1,450,709

$1,813,386

$2,176,063

$2,538,740

$7,978,898

Expect the Bengals to announce Dennard has signed his rookie contract any day now.

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