How soaring second-round guarantees impact the Packers

How soaring second-round guarantees impact the Packers

The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought the rookie wage scale to the NFL, which was supposed to make signing rookies a much smoother process. So why haven’t Green Bay Packers second-round picks Luke Musgrave and Jayden Reed signed their deals yet? Well, Seattle Seahawks second-round pick Derick Hall got two significant terms in his contract:

  1. $100,000 of Hall’s salary in the fourth year of his deal was guaranteed, a first for a second-round pick. For perspective, the Packers are famously known for only guaranteeing a year or two of salary on veteran extensions, when the league standard is typically two or three seasons.
  2. 85 percent of Hall’s signing bonus is going to be paid to him before the start of training camp, which helps him see that money sooner. Generally, teams pay out bonuses in payments, though, they’re fully guaranteed either way.

If you look at Spotrac’s 2023 NFL Draft contract tracker, you’ll notice virtually every single rookie drafted 57th overall or later has already signed their rookie deal. In contrast, though, only three players — including Hall — drafted from the 33rd slot to the 56th slot in April’s draft have inked contracts with their teams. Hall’s win on the negotiation table certainly served him well, but it has led to very slow signings further down in the second round.

For what it’s worth, neither Atlanta’s Matthew Bergeron nor Arizona’s B.J. Ojulari were able to get a guaranteed salary in 2026 as part of their contract terms. Bergeron and Ojulari are the two other second-round picks who were drafted before 56th overall and have signed with their teams. Bergeron (38th overall) was guaranteed three years of his rookie salary while Ojulari (41st overall) was guaranteed two years and about two-thirds of his salary in Year 3 with the Cardinals.

Just because Bergeron and Ojulari didn’t get Hall’s contract terms, though, doesn’t mean that agents around the league won’t be asking for them for their clients. It should be no cause for concern that Musgrave and Reed haven’t yet signed, but the gains in guarantees by second-rounders is why it’s taking longer for these players, league-wide, to sign contacts.

For reference, all 10 of the Packers’ third- to seventh-round picks from the 2023 draft have signed their contracts. We’re just waiting on the pair of second-rounders and first-round pick Lukas Van Ness, who will likely ink a deal after Detroit’s Jahmyr Gibbs — the player drafted one spot ahead of him — signs his contract.

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