The Washington Redskins signed first round pick, Robert Griffin III today, but have yet to sign their 3rd round pick – Josh Leribeus. Top 12, 3rd round picks and their agents across the league do not want to make the same mistake as some of last year’s high 3rd round selections. Last year, which was the first off-season under the new CBA, agents undervalued their players. So this year, agents are making it a point to correct the market set for high 3rd rounders in ’11.
In 2011, some high 3rd round pick’s contracts were not in harmony with others in the vicinity of their draft slot.
Carolina Panthers’ defensive lineman Terrell McClain (first pick of the third round) and Denver Broncos linebacker Nate Irving (third pick of the third round) base salaries for this year is $465,000. Seven players taken after them in the 3rd round of the draft will make more than McClain and Irving. Both signed contracts that will cost them six figures over the lengths of their deals compared to their draft peers.
New England Patriots RB, Stevan Ridley and QB Ryan Mallett, Seattle Seahawks guard John Moffitt and Jacksonville Jaguars guard William Rackley (the ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th picks from the third round) each will make at least $505,000 in base salary this season. Rackley will make $507,467.
In contrast, Buffalo linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (fourth pick of the third round) will make $480,000 in base salary this year.
Agents have been negotiating hard with front offices in attempt to set a new model for high 3rd round picks. Agents want their high 3rd round clients to net deals similar to Stevan Ridley and Ryan Mallet, not McClain and Irving.
Obviously, teams want to create contracts that are favorable. Which is where the holdup is coming from. With the pay scale implemented in ’11, this is the only true negotiating agents can do.
For the Washington Redskins, Josh Leribeus could be used sooner than later. At some point, Leribeus could very well be a starter on Washington’s offensive line, and Josh’s agent could be using that as leverage.
Emmanual Benton is a featured Washington Redskins columnist for Rantsports.com. If you enjoy talking Redskins and all things NFL, follow Emmanual Benton on twitter: Follow @Roccoskins