The Patriots got 2nd round draft pick Rob Gronkowski under contract yesterday, while linebacker Brandon Spikes is alsoÂ reportedly getting closer to reaching a deal.Â That leaves just first round draft pickÂ Devin McCourty not under contract, and like Spikes he was absent for the team’s first practice yesterday.
The two sides reportedly havenâ€™t been able to reach an agreement yet, and Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston reports that one reason for the slowdown in negotiationsÂ seems to be the lack of other first-round signings, as only the Cowboysâ€™ Dez Bryant (24th overall) has signed a deal.Â Reiss explains that because of that, agent Andy Simms canâ€™t use other deals as a framework for McCourtyâ€™s contract.
The most interesting note came when ReissÂ reported that one source involved in negotiations with a first-round pick from a different team said the NFLPA has advised him to slow negotiations until some other first-round deals are completed, which would provide a better framework to work from.
It’s interesting that the NFLPA would advise agents to “slow negotiations”, as obviously deals can’t be completed unless others get done.Â It seems like a practice that you would believe the league wouldn’t exactly be pleased about, but it appears that this is something that is going on this year – which along with the current labor situation explains why so many first round picks remain unsigned.
Nevertheless it’s an interesting note I thought I’d point out in the event anyone else hadn’t seen it.Â Hopefully they’ll get it worked out and we’ll see McCourty under contract in the not too distant future.