J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner still haven’t signed rookie contracts…..

J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner still haven’t signed rookie contracts…..

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson were able to agree to a massive new contract that currently makes the wide receiver the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.


Most assume that Jefferson’s deal was the last notable contract left for the Vikings to figure out this offseason. However, Minnesota still hasn’t officially signed either of the players they selected in the opening round of this year’s NFL Draft: J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner.


Considering each of the previous three Vikings first-round draft picks (Jordan Addison, Lewis Cine, Christian Darrisaw) all signed their rookie deals by May 17th of their respective offseasons, it’s definitely a bit odd that McCarthy and Turner still haven’t signed their contracts yet.


Why haven’t J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner signed with the Minnesota Vikings yet?

To slightly relieve the stress of some Minnesota fans, four of the six quarterbacks selected in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft still have not signed their rookie deals. McCarthy is obviously part of this group of four, which also includes Caleb Wiliams of the Chicago Bears, Jayden Daniels of the Washington Commanders, and Michael Penix of the Atlanta Falcons.


Drake Maye of the New England Patriots and Bo Nix of the Denver Broncos are the only two 2024 first-round passers to sign their rookie contracts this offseason. Maye agreed to a four-year deal with the Patriots worth $36.6 million, and Nix signed a four-year contract with the Broncos worth $18.6 million.


The value of every rookie deal in the NFL is determined before each draft and the contract values are based on where a player is selected in a given round. According to Sportico, McCarthy’s rookie contract with the Vikings is expected to be around $21.9 million, with a signing bonus of $12.7 million.


When Maye signed his rookie deal with New England last month, NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported that the young quarterback will receive “all of his $23,467,100 signing bonus within 14 days of signing” which is “one of the few elements of these [rookie] deals that’s a point of negotiation these days.”


So, perhaps negotiating the length of time it takes for McCarthy and Turner to receive their entire signing bonus is the reason why neither player has signed their rookie contract with Minnesota.


Another possible reason is offset language, which is something that former Denver safety Nick Ferguson mentioned shortly after Nix signed his rookie deal with the Broncos.


The types of offset language in an NFL contract can vary, but essentially, it is a clause in a deal that “allows a team to reduce the guaranteed money owed to a player when he is released by the amount of his new deal with another team,” according to CBS Sports’ Joel Corry.


Corry also mentioned that without any offsets in a contract, a player who is released before his deal is set to expire could receive a salary “from the team that released him in addition to the full salary from his new contract with another club.”


Offset language can affect things like base salaries, roster bonuses, and whether or not a team can void certain guarantees if a player is ejected from a game or suspended.


Most players would prefer not to have offset language in their contract, as that would potentially allow them to earn a salary from two teams at once if they are released before their previous contract was set to expire.


But the majority of NFL teams make sure to include offset language in their rookie deals in order to have the ability to avoid paying a full salary to a player who is released before their contract was supposed to orginally expire.


So, offset language and possibly the length of time in which the signing bonus is distributed are likely what have been preventing McCarthy and Turner from signing their rookie deals with the Vikings.


Is there any reason to worry about either player not signing with Minnesota in time for this summer’s training camp? Not at this moment, and both McCarthy and Turner have been participating in Vikings OTAs this spring, so it’s not like they’re holding out or anything like that.


Lastly, it seems important to point out that McCarthy’s agent, Brian Ayrault of WME Sports, also represents Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Back in 2020, after he was the No. 1 draft pick, Burrow didn’t end up signing his rookie contract until July 28th.


Ayrault also represents Denver quarterback Zach Wilson. After Wilson was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, he didn’t sign his rookie deal until July 29th of that year.


Turner’s agent, David Mulugheta of Athletes First, also represents Houston Texans signal-caller C.J. Stroud, who didn’t agree to his rookie contract until July 24th of last year.


So, while there aren’t any legitimate reasons to believe McCarthy and Turner won’t sign their rookie deals this year, it seems like the agreements probably won’t take place until closer to the start of Minnesota’s training camp at the end of July.



Gideon Canice

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