The rookies don’t have to sign yet

Posted by Darren Urban on May 10, 2012 – 7:43 am

There has been a lot of news nationally of late of draft picks signing quickly across the league. Understandably, the question arises whether the Cards will do something soon. But the reality is this: There is no reason, at this point, for rookies to sign. And given the new collective bargaining agreement, it’s not going to matter.

The circumstances provide a two-fold explanation. There has never been a reason for rookies to have signed for offseason work. Other than last season, when there was no offseason, almost every draft pick — and every Cardinal draft pick that I can remember — started offseason minicamp/OTAs without a rookie contract. The players instead sign injury waivers, which basically guarantees a rookie his “normal” contract even if he gets hurt during minicamp or other team work.

(Yes, that’s what we were talking about for those who remember the Wendell Bryant situation in 2002. The team’s No. 1 pick wouldn’t sign the injury waiver because his agent didn’t think the Cards had the right language protecting his player, and Bryant never took part in the summer work. It was repeated the next year with No. 1 picks Calvin Pace and Bryant Johnson. The Cards fixed what they were doing — another step in the way the franchise progressed over the past decade — and it hasn’t been an issue for a long time.)

There will be no issue with the draft picks participating, even though they haven’t scribbled on the dotted line yet.

That brings up the other side of the equation. In years past, the negotiations would have heated up sometime after July 4. The top two or three picks wouldn’t be signed until camp was imminent, or in the case of the top pick, a day or two into camp. Since Bryant — who didn’t sign until September — it’s never made a difference. The rookies never had missed so much to make a difference.

Now, though, because of the new CBA, rookie contracts are slotted and set harder than in years past. The reason guys have signed so fast other places is because there really isn’t much negotiating to do. Because of that, the rookies will sign quicker. Every guy will be signed before camp. There’s no reason to fret right now.

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Posted in Blog | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “The rookies don’t have to sign yet”

  1. By Chris B on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Are you ready for the “how’s so-and-so looking?” and “What’s the weather in Flagstaff like?” or “who’s running with the first team?” and the classic “Does so-and-so have a chance to make the roster?” and we can’t for get the “Should we be concerned that this-guy is running with the 3rd team?” questions yet? Are you going through your own mini-camp to prepare yourself? Don’t worry; I’ll continue to ask the occasional ‘McNabb’ question just to keep you on your toes.

  2. By Steve on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Darren: Did Wendell Bryant play for any other teams after the Cards released him?

  3. By Darren Urban on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Bryant

    No. Complete washout.

  4. By MIKE G on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well! Overall I liked the Cardinal’s draft choices. Hopefully they can learn, contribute and play some special teams. The signing of a rookie is pretty straightforward – when they get the signings underway they should be quick and straightforward. Darren– Question on the draft–Only thing I was a little surprised about-I thought we would take an RB maybe in rounds 4-7 especially with R-Williams and Beanie coming off surgery. What do you think??

  5. By Darren Urban on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: RBs

    They are clearly OK with how both those guys are health-wise. I’m taking it as a good sign.

  6. By brad oneill on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    bryant had drug issues, he overcame them and tried playing some minor league ball but was put on injured reserve, Later he had a tryout with buffalo and as far as I know was never heard from again.

  7. By TUCSTEVE on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    when will preseason tickets be available? also all the nike gear is way more expensive that really sucks!

  8. By Darren Urban on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Tucsteve —

    RE: Individual tickets

    Those usually go on sale in July.

  9. By D luv on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Well if its no big deal why don’t we sign them. Why wait? There is an old saying “Don’t put off doing something now just cause you know you can do it in the future”. Or I may have just made it up.

  10. By Matt on May 10, 2012 | Reply


    Do you have the jersey numbers for the rookies?

  11. By Darren Urban on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Matt —

    RE: Rookie numbers

    You just have to look at the roster:

  12. By Getsomecardinals! on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Wendell is actually a friend of mine, still resides in Arizona, and actually plays for Nashville in the UFL still. Great guy that overcame some serious issues early on. He is doing great!

  13. By Travis McCollum on May 10, 2012 | Reply

    Any update on the weight of the New tackles. I have heard Bobby Massie was 320 pounds. And Potter was Listed at 307 at Boise Pro day. Any Info you got Urban would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

  14. By Darren Urban on May 11, 2012 | Reply

    Travis —

    RE: Weights

    Massie is listed at 316, Potter at 295 on the most recent roster I have.

  15. By brad oneill on May 12, 2012 | Reply

    that is good to hear gestomecardinals! I am glad he is still going strong.

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