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Steelers’ 1st-Round Pick Still Unsigned as Training Camp Approaches

For the 53rd straight year, players will report to training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. this week. Heading into camp, Steelers’ 1st- round pick remains unsigned but holds himself with extreme optimism.

Terrell Edmunds, the No. 28 overall pick, is the only Steelers’ draft pick without a contract just days away from training camp. Edmunds is one of the multiple first-round picks without a contract and wasn’t expecting it to take this long either. By the end of minicamp in June, Edmunds was expecting a quick negotiation with the details squared away.

“I’m not even worried about it. I know it will get done one of these days,” Edmunds stated.

It’s coming down to the wire to get his contract signed and Edmunds can’t afford to miss any reps. While the hold-up is all basically in the language of the contract, Edmunds needs to do whatever he can to get a deal done. But Edmunds truly wants to let his agents and his parents take over, saying, “I’ll make the final say so of everything.”

The hold-up with his contract being signed is the offset language in rookie contracts. The concept can get a bit complex, and NFL Network Insider’s Ian Rapoport broke it down in its simplest terms.

“Thanks to the new CBA, first-round contracts are four-year deals with a fifth-year option for the team. That option must be picked up by the March following the player’s third year. Once that is exercised, a player’s fifth year of the contract (as much as $10 million) is guaranteed for injury. Essentially, teams will make decisions on their first-rounders after Year 3, determining whether or not they want to be on the hook for the remaining money.”

“But in the fourth year comes the debate over offset language. If there is offset language, it allows the team to save money when releasing a player. Let’s say a first-rounder is due $2 million in his fourth year. If he’s released, and then agrees to a $2 million deal with a new team, the original team is completely off the hook. He receives $2 million from his new club, and the team that drafted him washes its hands of the situation. If there is no offset language, the discarded player receives the guaranteed money from his original team and the full salary from his new team. The original team can’t merely allow the new team to pay the remaining guaranteed money as part of the new deal.”

But Edmunds hasn’t let any of this get in the way of his offseason training. He has been constantly spending time making sure he is healthy and ready to play as soon as the Steelers call him up for his first NFL game.

“Everything has to be perfect at camp. “At camp, you have to have perfect days, you try to go out there with no mental errors. I’m just going out there and trying to learn everything and be a sponge of the game. I’m trying to soak up things from the older guys. They are just really mentoring me through the process.”

With this positive mindset, Edmunds is still confident a deal will be made and his contract will be signed within the coming days. Players report to training camp on July 25th and the first camp open to the public is on July 26th.

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