Only three first-rounders and one second-rounder have signed so far because of a dispute over bonuses and the structure of contracts. A ruling is expected next week.
The Eagles have signed all of their draft picks, except second-rounders Trevor Laws and DeSean Jackson. If they had a first-round pick this year, he likely would not be signed, either.
We say that based on a entry in John Clayton's ESPN.com Insider blog. Only three first-rounders, including Penn Charter product Matt Ryan with the Falcons, and one second-rounder have signed.
The players union is seeking a Special Master to resolve a dispute involving guaranteed bonuses and how they are calculated within the rookie salary pool. Of course, anything with long-term contracts is complicated by the fact that 2011 -- or the fourth year of contracts signed this year -- is an uncapped year.
Here is an excerpt from Clayton's blog: "Under the rookie pool, base salaries can only increase 25 percent per year, but agents found a loophole in which a draft choice can receive a one-time bonus and guarantee it in the final year of the contract. This particularly affects second-round choices because they sign four-year deals. The problem in this summer's negotiations is that there is no collective bargaining agreement in 2011 so the fourth year of the contract can't be involved in any kind of guarantees."
The sides will present their arguments and the Special Master will rule next week. Of course, Eagles rookies are expected to report Monday night to Lehigh. The agents for Jackson and Laws have not returned calls from the Daily News this week.
It would be unfortunate if players who want to be in training camp are not because of a bigger issue outside their control. If a player holds out and falls behind, that is on him. You can't blame the players here who would be following the advice of their union and trying to protect their own interests.