The Panthers, Bears, Cowboys, and Patriots have all of their 2010 NFL Draft picks signed in time for training camp. Yesterday, the Patriots locked up first round pick Devin McCourty and second rounder Brandon Spikes. Early today, the Seahawks inked wide receiver Golden Tate. Earlier in July, the Jets got Vlad Ducasse to sign on the dotted line.
What does this mean for the Colts?
Well, for one, it means I start getting a little annoyed with players like Pat Angerer and Ricardo Mathews. Check that. I'm not mad at them, per say. I'm slightly annoyed with their reps. The reason I am annoyed is because they should be signed by now. There is, literally, no practical excuse for them not to be inked to contracts. Because of this, I start to worry that they will not be signed in time for training camp. This would mean that they would be unable to participate in camp practices and activities. For rookies, camp practices and activities are critical for them to get accustomed to their roles for the 2010 season. Missing time is simply not an option, and not acceptable.
So, basically, my blood pressure is going up several points because players like Angerer and Mathews really should have their names on the dotted line by now. And, if these guys do not have signed contracts by Sunday, I might just lose my mind!
After the jump, I'll explain why.
If there is one thing that annoys me it's silly greed. I have nothing against people wanting to make money. I have a big problem with people wanting money that is completely unjustified and unwarranted, especially in sports. To date, the Colts have 5th round pick Brody Eldridge (162 overall), 7th rounder Kavell Conner (240) and additional 7th rounder Ray Fisher (246) signed. This leaves 1st rounder Jerry Hughes (31st overall), 2nd rounder Pat Angerer (63), 3rd rounder Kevin Thomas (94), 4th rounder Jacques McClendon (149), and 7th rounder Ricardo Mathews (238) all unsigned. Camp opens in four days.
Set aside Thomas for this discussion. He's done for 2010 after hurting his knee in his first practice at rookie mini-camp. My first rant is against Ricardo Mathews. He's a friggin' 7th round pick and should consider himself lucky anyone drafted him at all. The Colts other two 7th rounders, Conner and Fisher, are inked. Conner was taken two picks after Mathews; Fisher eight picks after. Why this guy isn't signed makes no sense. Factor in that the guy picked immediately after Mathews (quarterback Sean Cainfield) has signed along with the guy picked just before Mathews, Vikings running back Ryan D'Imperio.
Stuff like this makes me wonder if the reps for Mathews are just that clueless. There's no practical reason for Mathews not to be inked. The only reasons I can think of involve player or player rep incompetence. Either Mathews's reps are clueless and actually think they can get more money than the Vikings gave to D'Imperio, or Mathews was offered a fair deal all parties agree with and the kid has just plum forgotten to sign it. The rookie running back for the Vikes signed a four-year, $1.837 million contract. Cainfield for the Saints signed a four-year, $1.83 million deal.
So, what's the hold up?
Four-years, $1.834 million. Should be easy, and the kid should be signed by now. If his reps are trying to play hardball with Bill Polian over the difference between $1.837 and $1.83 mill, they are amateurs who clearly do not know who they are dealing with. Such idiocy boils my blood.
Regarding Jacques McClendon, just like with Mathews, both players picked before and after McClendon have been signed. The one area that might make this a little complicated is that the Lions signed Jason Fox to a three-year deal. Fox was drafted just before McClendon. The guy drafted after McClendon, O'Brien Schofield, signed a four year deal. In this case, maybe the sticking point is the years. Considering McClendon was not even invited to the Scouting Combine, I find it a tad annoying his reps would potentially haggle over the length of the contract.
Pat Angerer's reps continue to frustrate me because with Golden Tate (60) signed to the Seahawks and Brandon Spikes (62) inked with the Pats, Angerer (63) should have a good idea by now as to what his worth is. Spikes signed a four-year deal for $3.2 million. Also, factor in that the Saints inked Charles Brown two days ago. Brown was drafted one pick after Angerer. So, just like with Mathews and McClendon, there's no practical reason Angerer isn't signed yet. For me, the dude should consider himself lucky he was taken in the second round at all. Most people didn't rank him there, including me. If his reps are haggling over percentage points, I really have no stomach or patience for that.
The Jerry Hughes situation scares me a bit because so very few first rounders have signed so far. With the Pats inking McCourty (27th overall) to a $13.2 million deal with $7.825 million guaranteed, it gives us an idea of what Hughes' worth is. Interestingly, McCourty's people used Donald Brown's contract last year with the Colts as a key factor in their talks with the Patriots. Brown was the 27th pick in last year's draft. If that is the standard, the 31st pick in 2009 was Chris "Beanie" Wells. He got a five-year deal worth $11.8 million, $6.3 million guaranteed. Hughes should be looking at a similar deal this year.
Now, obviously, my seemingly irrational annoyance to these (lack of) Colts rookie signings can very easily be calmed by having them all signed and in camp by Sunday. However, from where I sit right now, there is no practical reason why Pat Angerer, Jacques McClendon, or Ricardo Mathews aren't signed. The Colts are not known for low-balling on contracts. They offer fair deals that fall in between the pick before and the pick after. Because of their good rep and because there is no practical reason why certain players have not signed seemingly fair rookie deals, I get frustrated and I rant.
Forgive me if it all sounds hot-headed. But, the ranting helps me cope. Also, it's part of being a fan, and some of the dealings that happen in football (and the general incompetence that happens behind the scenes) are enough to turn Ghandi into a hot-headed, ranting fool.
Did I mention camp is in four days? I'd really like to stop worrying and start looking forward to the season.