Fans should expect a delay in Saints signing Kool-Aid McKinstry

Look ahead a few months and we can guess what New Orleans Saints fans will be asking: why hasn’t Kool-Aid McKinstry signed his contract? Recent collective bargaining agreements between the NFL and the players union has streamlined negotiations on rookie contracts, so there aren’t many points of conflict remaining. Most of the Saints draft class now signs their deals after rookie minicamp in May. But there’s one area that has turned into a battlefield: contracts for second round picks.

First-round pick contracts are fully guaranteed for the first four years, and we’re seeing players picked high in the second round receive heavier guarantees into the third and even fourth years of their deals. Agents are working to squeeze more guaranteed money for their clients but it’s leading to delays in getting these contracts signed.

Both of McKinstry’s predecessors, Isaiah Foskey (the 40th pick in 2023) and Alontae Taylor (the 49th pick in 2022) signed their contracts on July 19, when rookies reported about a week before training camp. So we should expect a similar delay for him. McKinstry was picked at No. 41 after the Saints traded up for him.

Last year, Foskey won guarantees for 95.98% of his salary in 2025 (the third year of his contract). As noted by NFL salary cap analyst Miguel Benzan, also known as Patscap, Foskey was the eighth player picked in 2023’s second round to get his first three salaries guaranteed. In 2022 just five second rounders managed that. And in 2021, only two second-round picks got three years guaranteed. So it’s slowly creeping higher, which is good news for young players.

That’s bad news for anxious Saints fans who want to see every draft pick signed as quickly as possible. But they’ll be alright. The new CBA has leveled such heavy fines for players holding out during training camp that the off-field drama is almost nonexistent, especially among rookies. You’d hope that Mickey Loomis and Khai Harley have learned from past experiences to get these deals done as soon as possible. We’ll just have to wait and see whether McKinstry continues the trend or if the Saints can finalize his contract sooner than they have in the past.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire