Slowly but surely the entire 2013 NFL draft class has been getting signed by their respective teams in time for camp. Except for at least one player.
According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the Cardinals and rookie first round pick, guard Jonathan Cooper can’t seem to reach a middle ground to get a deal done.
The Cardinals and the agent for guard Jonathan Cooper are past the negotiation stage. There is no middle ground. For Cooper to sign and start practice, it’s going to require one side giving in. And that’s not going to be the Cardinals.
Cooper’s four-year contract will be worth around $14.5 million, including a $10 million signing bonus. That’s not the issue. The Cardinals have agreed to provide the maximum amount of money allowed, according to an NFL source, in the form of workout bonuses and such.
The hangup is over an “offset” that would protect the team financially in the event Cooper was cut at some point and picked up by another team. That’s not likely to happen, but stranger things have occurred.
It works something likes this. Let’s say Cooper was scheduled to make $1 million in the final year of the deal. But the Cardinals cut him and another team picked him and agreed to pay him $800,000. Without offset language, Cooper could collect both salaries, $1.8 million, because the $1 million is guaranteed.
If you work for a team, you call that “double dipping.” If you’re an agent or a player, you call that a team living up to its commitment to “guarantee” the contract.
I find it funny that some people will claim that Cooper is holding out. That’s not the case. Contract negotiations are a two-way street.