Should We Be Concerned That J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner Remain Unsigned?

J.J. McCarthy, Minnesota Timberwolves
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are less than four weeks away from the start of training camp and both quarterback J.J. McCarthy and outside linebacker Dallas Turner have yet to sign their rookie contracts.

In fact, McCarthy and Turner are two of only five NFL first-round draft NFL draft picks that have yet to sign their rookie contracts. While that’s obviously not a good thing, is it something that Vikings fans should be worried about?

Why there could be a holdup for both Minnesota Vikings’ J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner?

First, let’s dig into why Turner and McCarthy remain unsigned. According to Article 7 of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, players who are drafted in the first-round receive a four-year contract with a fifth-year club option and the player’s base salary will be fully guaranteed.

Essentially, NFL rookie contracts are “fixed’ and “unalterable” based on where you were selected in the first-round. Despite being “fixed” or “unalterable” there is something that rookies can negotiate, the payment schedule of their signing bonus. Players at the top of the draft, particularly, have more leverage with this negotiating tactic.

“There are very few negotiable items with rookie contracts anymore. The two primary negotiating issues, particularly at the top of the draft, are the payment schedule of the signing bonus and whether salary guarantees will have offsets. Another important consideration is the language outlining the voiding of salary guarantees.”

Joel Curry (CBS Sports)

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Although this seems like a minor thing, it’s particularly important for players regarding the timing of these payments and whether guarantees will have offsets. For J.J. McCarthy, there are some reports claiming he wants 100% of his signing bonus upfront, before he will show up for training camp.

Outlook ahead of training camp for Vikings’ top rookies

In the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty likely that over these next few weeks McCarthy’s and Turner’s contracts are worked out and are signed. There have been a few handful of players that have not signed before training camp, but under the new collective bargaining agreement, rookie signings have gone much smoother.

If neither J.J. McCarthy or Dallas Turner sign their rookie contract before training camp, expect them to not participate until the ink is dry on the contract.

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