All seven of the St. Louis Rams' 2013 NFL draft picks have been signed, with first-rounders Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree both receiving five-year contracts, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Rams' five other draft picks all were signed to four-year deals.
Austin, the No. 8 overall pick in April, is set to earn over $12 million, with $7.653 million coming as part of his signing bonus. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Austin's contract also includes no offset language, so his salary is guaranteed if he can stay with the team for at least four seasons.
Offset language has become a sticking point in rookie contract negotiations recently. In short, offset language allows NFL teams to reduce the money owed to players released before their rookie contracts have expired by the amount said players sign for with new teams. For example, if a player is released with one year and $1 million left on his contract, and he then signs a $1 million contract with another team, the original team would owe the player nothing the following year. Essentially, offset language prevents a player from getting paid salaries from two teams for the same year.
It's no surprise that Austin's contract did not include offset language, given the Rams' history. Defensive end Robert Quinn and defensive tackle Michael Brockers did not have offset language in their contracts after they were selected by the Rams at No. 14 overall in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Ogletree may not have been so lucky as the No. 30 overall pick, however, as Rams blog Turf Show Times points out.
Regardless, Rams fans, coaches and players should be relieved that they won't have to go through the usual summer drama of rookie contract haggling.