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Signing Most Draft Picks On Time Isn't Anything To Worry About

It's July 2 and the Chiefs have one draft pick signed, fifth rounder Kendrick Lewis.

A reader sent me an email with this question: Why aren't more Chiefs draft picks signed?

It's hard to pinpoint any one reason. Neither side -- the Chiefs or the player reps -- are necessarily to blame. It's just the way the process works. Teams obviously want to get a good deal on their end. Agents are also recruiting for next year's class so they have reason not to do a bad deal and wait it out.

A recent article from Jack Bechta of National Football Post talks about some of the issues facing the teams and agents during this time period:

For example, if a 5th round slot had a signing bonus of $200,000 in 2009, the agent might believe it should be increased by 3.25% to $206,500 for 2010. Meanwhile, the cap manager believes the bonus should only increase by 3% to $206,000. The difference is a whopping $500. Even if the agent and cap manager agree on all the other contract components, such as term, injury splits, credit season language, escalators tied to the number of off-season completed workouts and play time, etc., the deal could still take months to get done. So, believe it or not, $50 to $500 dollars can hold up a late-round contract for weeks.

In other words, the issues are very minimal.

Obviously teams -- the Chiefs included -- want to get all their guys under contract. Likewise, the agents want to get a deal done (and get paid). 

Speculation on my part but I think part of the issue is that there's not a whole lot of motivation to hasten the process. Training camp is several weeks to a month away for most clubs and rookies are just staying in shape until then. Does it really hurt anything if a fifth round pick signs now or July 28? I know the teams would like to get the contracts out of the way sooner rather than later. And the agents probably want to get it out of the way (and get paid).

But does it really matter? It helps to get them done earlier but I don't think it's hurting anything or disrupting the process by waiting it out.

Bottomline? When you're talking about picks 33-255, no one is to blame. Say it with me, "It's just the process."