College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma"> clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Josh Jacobs is pushing the envelope of fully-guaranteed rookie deals

New, 80 comments

The impact that his contract has will be far greater than just on the financial well-being of the No. 24 pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma

That time No. 10 made a piss-poor business decision...

Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

We will be doing our usual extensive SEC Media Days coverage from Alabama next week. And the programs released their attendees yesterday. The Tide’s trio of player reps could not be more impressive: with three All-Americans, a Maxwell award winner, and a Biletnikoff trophy between them:

SEC Media Days 2019 will usher in a new season next week in Hoover, Ala., from July 15-18.

And on Wednesday, July 17, the players that will be accompanying their head coaches to the Hyatt Regency Birmingham -- Wynfrey Hotel have been announced. Representing Alabama alongside coach Nick Saban in his 13th Media Days appearance on Wednesday will be junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and junior linebacker Dylan Moses.

How hard are workouts at Alabama? And especially in that notoriously-cuddly Tuscaloosa summer weather? John Parker Wilson tells you.

Earlier this week, we reported on Josh Jacobs’ acrimonious contract negotiations with the Oakland Raiders, which had been described as “not going well.” There was real concern by the organization that JJ8 would hold out or not, as the issue was reportedly over signing bonus money. Funny: When you have four first round picks, the signing money doesn’t stretch as far, does it?

Yes, some of that was true. But it turns out that there was a lot more to the story — namely, Jacobs ensuring that his first deal was a fully-guaranteed one.

Whenever someone says that the NFL doesn’t have fully-guaranteed contracts, remember that indeed the NFL does, at the top of each draft. In recent years, the range of fully-guaranteed contracts for first-round draft picks has grown.

NFL Media reports that the contract given by the Raiders to first-round running back Josh Jacobs has four fully-guaranteed years. The deal expands the number of fully-guaranteed first-round rookie contracts to 24.

This story has far larger ramifications than it seems at first blush. NFL players, unlike their brethren in MLB and the NBA, do not generally have fully guaranteed contracts, and certainly not default guarantees from collective bargaining. Such coveted deals are ordinarily awarded to proven free agent stars and allegedly-can’t-miss, upper-first-round talent.

But, all first-rounders are not created equally when it comes time to get paid. There is a significant difference between the salaries (and expectations) of the Overall No. 3 player vs. the Overall No. 27 player. A guy like Quinnen Williams (1R3) will have a signing bonus roughly four times the amount of that given to Josh Jacobs (1R24) and a salary roughly three times less lucrative. Thus, while rookie guarantees have become increasingly more common lately, they have tended to be reserved for the first dozen or so picks.

The effect of Jacobs playing hardball with a thirsty Raiders franchise in need of its back of the future, and extending guarantees to the 24th pick, is that that a precedent has now been set for players at the bottom of the first round — and particularly at a position that lacks nearly as much value in the NFL of 2019.

Last year, the top 19 players had guarantees. As of yesterday afternoon, a future player in the bottom quartile of the first round can make a good faith demand for a similarly-guaranteed rookie deal. With the average NFL career lasting a mere 3.3 years — i.e., just that first deal — this will have positive effects on the futures of many more players going forward, whether they stay in the league or not.

Good job to Josh and his agent.

Derrick Henry (and to a lesser extent, Kenyan Drake) lost out on the Play of the Year ESPY last night...to a college gymnastics floor routine.

In online fan voting for the best play, a floor routine by UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi that earned a perfect score on Jan. 12 beat the NFL plays and the other finalist -- Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning, buzzer-beater for the Toronto Raptors in the seventh game of their NBA playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 7.

Look, I love gymnastics as much, and very likely a lot more, than most of the Gumps. And Ohashi’s Floor that night was brilliant. But it was not a transcendent moment that will be on highlight reels 50 years from now and that will live in the national sporting conscience for generations.

This will:

We’ve remarked here several times over the last 5-6 years about how perilously close we were to Nick Saban in a Burnt Orange and White polo.

How close? Well, if you believe the Board of Regents, all that was required was Mack Brown agreeing to it — because Nick Saban had said yes in principle already.

Yikes.

This interview with Kira Lewis Jr., on his gold medal win in the FIBA U19, will make you smile. Sometimes you remember that he’s just an 18-year-old after all.

Recap:

Lewis proudly wore his medal the entire night and only removed it the next day because it was too heavy. But the 18-year old accomplished something he and his hometown of Meridianville, Ala., won’t soon forget, as his time in Europe is something Lewis plans to tell his grandchildren about.

“Nobody has ever done it down (where I’m from),” Lewis said Wednesday. “To represent my country, it’s a big deal, but I didn’t know it was that big of a deal when you talk to other people that haven’t done it. So, in three days, I’ve probably had more texts and calls than I have over the past year.”

Related to that Kira Lewis interview is one with new Alabama assistant Bryan Hodgson, who followed Oats from UB.

As for how Kira will fit into the Oats system, he said, “Being unselfish is huge, particularly at his position. We play extremely fast and our point guards are usually our leading scorer or second-leading scorer, but to be that guy in the position he’s got to make the smart plays. He did a great job over there.

“If you look at his stats per minute they were unbelievable.

The NCAA isn’t messing around, if Mizzou’s troubles are any indication. As promised by the NCAA, major violations would be forthcoming in the weeks ahead following Round One of the Hoops Trials. And the first team to feel the icy steel of the axeman’s practice stroke is NC State — and former Alabama coach/player Mark Gottfried.

Former Alabama player and coach Mark Gottfried is mentioned prominently in an NCAA notice of allegations received this week by North Carolina State, the school acknowledged Wednesday.

The school is charged with four violations, two of them Level I, the most severe. All involve the recruitment of former blue-chip recruit Dennis Smith Jr., who played for the Wolfpack in 2016-17 and is now with the NBA’s New York Knicks.

If NCSU rated two Level I infractions, Basketball Loki alone knows what Will Wade, Bruce Pearl, and Sean Miller are going to get hit with — a house dropping from a tornado maybe?

Nate Oats interviewed with Lauren Sisler yesterday, and this man is instantly so likable. He’s enthusiastic, passionate, candid, driven, even emotional at times. Well worth the 10-minute viewing.

Jeremy Pruitt’s already cheating...albeit in a very minor way.

For now.

With summer and the silly season nearing their end, it’s time for coaches to turn to the important things: CYA. Here’s Dodd’s most endangered list, and the full 1-130 Hot Seat rankings.

I will say that any list that does not have Gus Malzahn in line for a mid-year firing is woefully incomplete. Having spoken off the record to a major booster and a few #sauces at Auburn, I can tell you that it is already in the works — with money set aside, and a contingency plan in place — should the wheels fall off early this season.

Finally — and apropos of nothing whatsoever — I want to leave you with this. Because this...this is simply amazing.

Colonel Sanders was a stone cold killer. Quite literally.

Okie dokie, we’ll back a bit later with some more #content for y’all. There’s a ton in here to read and talk about, so dig in.