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2023 NFL Draft 1st Round picks who haven’t signed their rookie deals

It is hard to believe NFL training camps are slated to kick off in just a few days, but what might be an even bigger surprise are the number of 1st Round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft who have yet to sign their rookie contracts.

Compared to other years, most draft picks have already signed on the dotted line and are putting the negotiations/financial aspect of the game behind them before they begin their first professional training camp.

This year has certainly bucked that trend.

What could be holding up these contract negotiations? With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), there is little to negotiate. Players are slotted based on draft order as to what they will make throughout their first four, or five if a 5th year option is exercised, years in the league. However, agents have started to request more money up front in the form of a signing bonus, and some teams have even started adding guaranteed money into rookie contracts.

Now we have some negotiations taking place and it might not be as cut-and-dry as many believe with modern day rookie contracts. Are they better than their predecessors, absolutely, but still it might take some time. Also, it is worth noting sometimes players just wait until they get back in town before camp to physically sign on the dotted line. After all, not all negotiations are negative and nasty.

So, who are the 1st Round picks in the 2023 draft who have yet to sign? The list is longer than you may believe…

  • Bryce Young, QB Carolina Panthers
  • C.J. Stroud, QB Houston Texans
  • Anthony Richardson, QB Indianapolis Colts
  • Devon Witherspoon, CB Seattle Seahawks
  • Jahmyr Gibbs, RB Detroit Lions
  • Will McDonald IV EDGE, New York Jets
  • Emmanuel Forbes, CB Washington Commanders
  • Christian Gonzalez, CB New England Patriots

In a typical year there are 32 picks in the first round, but with the Miami Dolphins being forced to forfeit their 1st Round pick, there were just 31. The 32nd pick belonged to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they selected cornerback Joey Porter Jr.. The former Penn State product also is unsigned as of this article being published.

It is highly unlikely any of these players even attempt a holdout over contract minutia, but it is worth seeing what players are able to squeeze out of the team before they sign. Typically it takes just one contract to be signed, likely a top pick, for the others to quickly follow. Nonetheless, time is ticking before the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets report to training camp this week as they prepare for the Hall of Fame preseason game.


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