The Green Bay Packers are heading into the 2023 season with a plethora of young talent. Much of that talent includes players who were drafted in the previous NFL Draft. Many of them have signed their contracts with the team, but not all.
In fact, the Packers’ first three draft picks (Lukas Van Ness, Jayden Reed, and Luke Musgrave) have not yet signed their rookie deals. While some may be concerned about this, the truth is that it is not that big of a deal.
Green Bay Packers Rookies Lukas Van Ness, Jayden Reed, and Luke Musgrave Are Just 3 of Many NFL Un-Signed Draft Picks
To begin, let’s just get this out of the way: 2023 NFL Draft picks do not have to sign their rookie contracts until the beginning of training camp. No rules are being broken. No one is holding out.
According to Sports Illustrated‘s Bill Huber, Van Ness is one of nine first round picks from this year’s draft that remains un-signed. Reed and Musgrave are two of 14 second round picks that remained un-signed. This is not a situation that is unique only to Green Bay.
Why Haven’t the Green Bay Packers’ Top 3 Picks Signed Their Contracts?
The collective bargaining agreement of 2011 all but set the financials for each possible rookie contract in stone. First round picks, of course, make more than those taken in lower rounds. When a player is drafted, they know exactly how much money and how many years their contract will be for.
“According to Spotrac, Musgrave as the 42nd pick of the draft should sign a four-year contract worth $8,475,732 and including a signing bonus of $3,164,169. Reed, the 50th pick of the draft, should sign a four-year deal worth $7,180,777 and including a signing bonus of $2,222,383.”
However, and this is a big however, it does NOT outline how much of that contract’s money value will be guaranteed. The reason Van Ness, Reed, and Musgrave have not signed their rookie contracts yet is because their agents are negotiating for more guaranteed money in their rookie deals.
To be clear, the agents/players are not trying to get more money than what the CBA agreement detailed. Rather, they are trying to get as much of that money guaranteed as they possibly can.
NFL players’ careers, on average, do not last very long. The risk of long-term injury and permanent disability is a huge risk whenever they take the field. It stands to reason that players and their agents fight for as much guaranteed money as possible.
As mentioned earlier, this does not mean that the Packers’ three top picks won’t sign. It just means they are negotiating. Come the start of training camp, each of them will sign and this entire “issue” will be forgotten.
That is, until next year, when the next round of draft picks do the same thing.