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Jonathan Cooper still unsigned: battle of language or avoiding the signing bonus?

There doesn't seem to be much concern, but one national writer cries foul.


Although there doesn't seem to be a lot of concern, Arizona Cardinals first round pick Jonathan Cooper still remains unsigned, despite the beginning of training camp occurring this week.

In the words of Steve Keim, the team's general manager (via the team's website), despite conversations with Cooper's representatives, "no deal is imminent at this time."

Writer Darren Urban downplayed the issue, being that Cooper has been with the team throughout all the offseason workouts, so a couple of days will not be a problem. In fact, 15 of the 32 first round picks remain unsigned.

One theory behind the delay is the negotiation of "offsetting" language, which would protect the team if to cut the player and the player then signs with another team. If there is such language in the contract, then the Cards (or team in question) would only have to pay the difference between what the new team is paying the player and the original contract he signed.

However, with so many first rounders still without their contract, Larry Fitgerald's father (Larry Fitzgerald, Sr.), who is a member of the media, lashed out at NFL teams for purposely dragging their feet.

NFL teams do have to shell out a lot of money when contracts get signed. When Cooper signs, he will get a check worth millions of dollars just for signing. The longer negotiations go on, the longer they wait to pay.

Is this really what is going on? Maybe looking at the big picture, perhaps. But both teams and agents are doing their best to get the best deal, and when the actual dollars is more or less already known, it becomes a negotiation of language.

Will the deal get done? Yes. Should it already have happened? Yes. Could the signing bonus that first rounders get be a reason why teams wait to get their highest picked players signed? Certainly. But should we should we worry about Cooper and a long holdout? Nope.

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