The one unfinished, dangling issue heading into camp that has heart-attack-types like me worried is that 2010 first round pick Jerry Hughes is not signed. This means he cannot report for camp and cannot participate in camp activities until he is signed.
Yesterday, the Jets signed corner Kyle Wilson (29th overall pick) to a five-year deal worth $12.99 million, including $7.12 million guaranteed money. Two days ago, the Saints signed Patrick Robinson (32nd overall) to a five-year deal. Yesterday, the Lions inked Jahvid Best, picked one spot before Hughes. Best received a five-year contract worth $9.8 million.
These three signings mean the Colts and Jerry Hughes' reps have enough of a framework to get the rookie signed. There is simply no reason (other than silly, unrealistic, unsympathetic greed) for Hughes not to be signed and in camp. With Best signing a $9.8 million dollar deal, this means Hughes will likely receive less than Chris "Beanie" Wells' contract of $11.8 million last year. Like Hughes, Wells was drafted 31st overall. If this is the reason Hughes has not signed, he and his reps will get no sympathy from here. Wilson signed a $12.99 million dollar deal. If Best's reps went too low by agreeing to $9.8 million, then Jerry and his people can take up their grievance with them.
Standard operating procedure says the 31st pick receives money in between the value signings of the 30th (Best) and the 32nd (Robinson) picks. So, if that $9.8 million dollar number is accurate, Jerry and his reps should kiss getting $11.8 mill goodbye. The Colts absolutely will not budge on issues like this, and Jerry's #1 priority should be to get into camp and be ready for the start of the 2010 season, not haggling over a million dollars he has no realistic chance of getting from Bill Polian (a man who practically invented hard-ball contract negotiations).
Also, haggling over money does not endear oneself to fans, especially in today's economy.
When Jerry Hughes signs, he will sign a deal that will make him one of the top 5% money makers in America, regardless of whether it's $9.8 mill or 11.8 mill. Hopefully, Jerry's reps can come to their senses and get their client inked. Late-first rounders rarely holdout. So, if it were to happen here, it would be an unwelcome distraction.