Dolphins, Eagles win offset language battle in negotiations with Top 5 picks

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

The Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles reached deals with Top 5 picks Dion Jordan and Lane Johnson and, according to multiple reports, both teams won the battle over offset language.

Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, was the first domino to fall, agreeing to terms to a four-year contract that included offset language on Saturday afternoon, the same day that Dolphins rookies and veterans reported to training camp. As "Shutdown Corner" noted on Friday, the Dolphins' insistence on offset language is not a statement about the player, but is an organizational philosophy that is applied to veteran and rookie contracts alike.

The Dolphins obtaining offset language in a contract for the No. 3 overall pick opened the door for the Eagles to get the same language — which allows the team to save money on guaranteed portions of a contract if the player is released and signs with another team — in the deal for Johnson on Saturday night.

In announcing the deal with Johnson, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman praised Johnson's agent, Ken Sarnoff, for getting the deal done.

"We’re very excited to have all of our draft picks ready to go for the start of training camp," Roseman said in a statement released by the Eagles. "I give Lane and his agent, Ken Sarnoff, a lot of credit for their work in getting this deal complete. Both had stated to us how important it was to get this deal signed before the rookies report on Monday and they kept their word. We’re all looking forward to watch Lane get his NFL career started."

None of the contracts for the players selected in the top five of the 2012 NFL draft included offset language. With the agents for Jordan and Johnson agreeing to that language this year, expect more teams to push for that protection in Top 5, and perhaps Top 15 contracts moving forward. That push could begin with the negotiations between the Cleveland Browns and No. 6 overall pick Barkevious Mingo and the Arizona Cardinals in their negotiations with No. 7 overall pick Jonathan Cooper.

With the Eagles and Dolphins signing Johnson and Jordan, 19 of the 32 teams have signed their entire 2013 draft class. Teams still with at least one draft choice left to sign are the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans.

Overall, there are now 23 unsigned picks from the 2013 draft. The Vikings have three first-round picks left to sign, while the Texans, Jets and Raiders each have three picks to sign. The Falcons and Giants each have two picks to sign, while the remaining teams have just one pick to sign before training camp.

What to Read Next