The Pittsburgh Steelers head into Wednesday with two draft picks currently unsigned and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks it might take a little bit longer to sign defensive end Stephon Tuitt and wide receiver/running back Dri Archer.
Bouchette wrote on Wednesday that the hold up on getting those two picks signed could be related to base salary amounts.
Teams have run into a little trouble getting third-round picks signed because agents in that round are trying to negotiate higher salaries. From the fourth round and down, the rookies get minimum salaries each year, although there is no rule they must. it was like that in the third round too until some team broke ranks by paying more than minimum and now the third-rounders are trying to get more.
While I understand where Bouchette is coming from, both Tuitt and Archer really don’t have much wiggle room. In the case of Tuitt, the players that were drafted one pick ahead and one pick behind him were both given minimum first-year base salaries of $420,000.
In fact, the four-year base salary total of the four-year contract signed by Paul Richardson is only $65,466 more than that of Trent Murphy, who was picked right after Tuitt. There’s also only a difference of $174,572 in the signing bonuses given to both of those players.
So what’s the real holdup? If it is indeed base salary amounts, we’re really not talking about a lot money. with either of these two. In other words, if either of these two players remain unsigned past next week, it really will be a surprise.