There's a reason why Jabrill Peppers hasn't signed his rookie contract yet
It wouldn’t have been very fitting if Jabrill Peppers’ NFL career had started drama-free.
Due to a few circumstances outside Peppers’ control, he hasn’t signed his rookie deal with the Cleveland Browns yet. Like Joey Bosa last year, the reason for that is the guarantees in his contract.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported that Peppers is one of two unsigned first-rounders outside of the top 10 because of the money guaranteed in the fourth year of his contract (the first three years are guaranteed).
The potential holdout is because of the wide range of guaranteed fourth-year between No. 23 overall pick Evan Engram ($1.55 million) and No. 26 overall pick Tak McKinley ($655,000).
The No. 24 pick was former Ohio State star Gareon Conley. Due to him being the subject of a pending sexual assault investigation, Conley is the other non-top-10 pick that remains unsigned. As the No. 25 overall pick, Peppers can’t use Conley as a measuring stick for his guaranteed fourth-year money.
If Conley’s case reaches a resolution soon — it was expected to be concluded 2-4 weeks ago — that could have an impact on Peppers’ negotiations.
As Florio noted, last year’s No. 25 overall pick Artie Burns got an $800,000 roster bonus put into his contract, which stated he’d receive that if he was at the third day of training camp in his fourth season. Peppers’ team could be negotiating a similar agreement.
Will Peppers have a deal done before the first day of training camp at the end of July? That remains to be seen.
But as Bosa proved last year, a late start isn’t a death sentence.