The Oakland Raiders have gotten off to a fast start signing seven of their 2013 NFL Draft selections. The only players that remain unsigned are first round pick DJ Hayden, second round selection Menelik Watson, and fourth rounder Tyler Wilson. There is no reason to panic because the Raiders have plenty of time to ink the rookies to deals.
When the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached after the 2011 lockout, one of the biggest items was the rookie wage scale. Raiders' fans know well how astronomical the salaries got after JaMarcus Russell's more than 30 million dollars in guaranteed money as the first overall pick. The CBA agreement facilitates the Raiders getting these deals done. As long as the players are inked before training, no harm is done.
One cause for concern with the Hayden contract is his injury history. The Raiders were steadfast in their assessment that his serious college injury was 100 percent recovered and they had no hesitations using a first round pick on him. Now he is dealing with an abdominal injury that will keep him out until training camp. Because the abdominal injury does not appear to be related to the vein he tore in college, the deal should be in the works. Hayden is going to be counted on to compete for playing time early this season so it is in the best interest of both he and the Raiders to get a deal finished. Hayden will receive a four year deal with the Raiders getting an option for a fifth year.
For Watson and Wilson, their contracts have little wiggle room because picks in rounds two through seven have slotted four year deals. Once the team and the players' agents negotiate the base salary, signing bonuses, workout bonuses, and incentives, the deal will get done. The NFL gives each team an allotment of money to be used on signing draft picks. Therefore the Raiders waited to sign these players so they know exactly how much money remains to sign their most important picks.
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