The first big post-draft domino fell last night with Jets first round pick (No. 5 overall) agreed to a five year deal with $28 million in guaranteed money. The only other top 5 pick to sign was first overall selection Matthew Stafford prior to the draft. Mike Florio thinks the stage could be set for the three remaining top five picks to holdout.
With Stafford’s six year deal worth $41.7 million ($6.95 million per year) and the Stafford deal worth $28 million guaranteed ($5.6 million per year), the agents for the second, third and fourth overall picks are tapping their fingertips lightly together and muttering “excellent”. Teams trying to sign those players are probably using slightly different language.
Agents will argue that the ceiling and the floor are now set for Rams tackle Jason Smith, Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson and Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry. Teams will argue the deals are skewed because they were paid to quarterbacks and that the three contracts should be closer to Sanchez’s deal.
The fact that Sanchez undoubtedly received a “quarterback premium” likely made his agent, Dave Dunn, more willing to pull the trigger on the transaction now, without fear of being leapfrogged by the package paid to the sixth overall pick.
Word was no progress would be made regarding the Smith, Jackson, and Curry contracts until Sanchez is signed. It now remains to be seen whether the magnitude of Sanchez’s contract will make it even harder for the other players to be signed.
Last year the Chiefs gave Glenn Dorsey, the fifth overall pick, a five year deal with $22 million in guaranteed money. That means Sanchez was only given six million more and that’s with the “quarterback premium”. The story is the same every year with QBs getting bigger deals that players ahead of them, so I don’t imagine agents holding out for a ton more than Sanchez received. Jackson knows he’ll get paid and knows he needs to get as many reps in training camp as possible. That all adds up to him being signed, sealed and ready to go on Day 1.
Speaking of Dorsey, USA Today breaks down players in the AFC poised for a big ’09 and lists the second year defensive end among them.
Dorsey was a major disappointment as a rookie, a microcosm of a horrendous Chiefs defense. He’ll kick outside to defensive end this season after playing inside in 2008. He’ll play opposite rookie and former LSU teammate Tyson Jackson in Kansas City’s new-look 3-4 defense.
Most of my focus this offseason has been the linebackers and the progress of Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson in the new defense. If Dorsey can be the impact player a lot of people expected last season, that will go a long way to making people forget about the historically bad 2008 defense. I’ve heard from a lot of you that feel we should cut ties with Dorsey, but keep in mind that defensive linemen are notoriously slow starters in the NFL. If he is a flop again this season — even with a position change — then you can talk about sending Dorsey elsewhere, but right now he can be a big part of what Clancy Pendergast is trying to do.
Chiefs tackle Branden Albert was a guest on Soren Petro’s Red Zone Podcast and talked about everything from the new regime to Brian Waters’ attendance at voluntary workouts last season to dunking on Kobe Bryant.
Great stuff as always from Petro. You have to love Albert killing all of the Waters apologists that loved talking about how he never attends OTAs. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see him try to get anywhere near the basket on Kobe? And I can’t believe that Virginia was the only school that recruited him out of high school. We hear stories about late bloomers, but if you are paid to evaluate talent how do you miss out on those kind of raw skills?