Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Aug 2005

Billick: Offer to Clayton is Firm

It seems to me that if the pick before you, and the pick after you have both signed contracts, then you'll probably end up with a deal somewhere in between. Apparently Ravens first-round pick Mark Clayton and his agent don't agree. Coach Brian Billick has made it clear that Baltimore's current offer is its best offer, no matter how long Clayton holds out. And Billick also gives a quick math lesson in case Clayton's agent is confused: "Take No. 21 and No. 23, add them up together and cut it in half...Anything beyond that, it's hard to understand."

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 05 Aug 2005

12 comments, Last at 06 Aug 2005, 6:44pm by MarkB


by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 11:10am

I blame Drew Rosenhaus.

by Erasmus (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 11:26am

So whats up with Billick? Did he spend the whole off-season in the mountains plotting ways that his defense can score more touchdowns?

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 11:43am

I love the Billick comment on how to figure out what the number 22 pick should get. Though doesn't it seem odd that pick salaries get slotted based on where they are in the draft, not relative to where other players of the same position in the draft signed for and where other veterans in the same position have signed for recently?

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 12:13pm

If you're going to have hard-and-fast rules about how to decide what to pay your draft picks (even if they're unofficial), why not just come up with a rookie pay scale? 1st pick gets X% of the salary cap, 2nd gets Y% of that, and so on until Mr. Irrelevant gets $1 more than the league minimum.

by karl (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 12:15pm

mr. toombs makes a good point. but matt jones is also a wr and a lot of cbs make wr money so billick's mathematical analysis still stands. anyone else thinks brian billick should be part of the prospectus team? because that kind of genius is rare. besides, he develops one hell of a qb...

"Take No. 21 and No. 23, add them up together and cut it in half," - you gotta love the guy

by Theo (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 2:29pm

"You want math? Ok, take #11 2 times and give me that!"

by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 3:23pm

I think the first NBA draft contract was signed a day or two after the NBA draft this year. The first NFL contract took 3 months to get done. Ridiculous.

The NBA rookie draft scale is one thing the NBA does better than the NFL.

I think that every day a guy like Clayton sits out, decreases his chances of ever being a useful NFL player. You miss too much of training camp in your rookie year, and you fall way behind. Next thing you know, your rookie year ends up being a waste, and you get labeled a bust.

by Jim A (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 4:13pm

Although the signing bonuses and overall value of rookie contracts are usually slotted, because NFL contracts aren't guaranteed, there still are a lot of things to be negotiated. For example, early picks have escalator clauses and voidables to work out, and in the lower rounds you have to work out the injury splits, i.e. how much the player gets paid if he gets injured. So many unpredictable things can happen to a player in his first couple years, the agents have a responsibility to fight for as favorable an outcome as possible in these provisions.

by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 4:37pm

Another smart alternative would be to create some sort of blanket coverage for rookies to be able to go to training camp without a contract, and be protected in the event they are injured. Have some sort of default minimum realistic contract.

Alex Smith goes to TC without a contract. Blows an ACL. He gets paid $4 million (or whatever) in 2005. This way the rookies can be prepared to play. Now, if there still is no contract at the end of TC, they can threaten to hold out for week #1.

by usedbread (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 11:18pm

there is blanket injury coverage for unsigned rookies, but first round picks dont feel it to be enough. i think its capped at $250k or something, too lazy to look it up.

by gja (not verified) :: Sat, 08/06/2005 - 4:13am

Blanket coverage only applies to mini camps. Unsigned rookies are Forbidden to attend training camp by the CBA.

by MarkB (not verified) :: Sat, 08/06/2005 - 6:44pm

When players start talking about contracts in the media, everyone - rightfully - jumps on them. So what's up with Billick? Shouldn't he be told to be professional and keep his yap shut? The player is not an employee - yet - and Billick has no business saying anything about the negotiations in public.