avon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk are members of the San Francisco 49ers, officially. They become just the fourth and fifth first-round picks, along with Tua Tagavailoa and Austin Jackson of the Miami Dolphins and Derrick Brown of the Carolina Panthers to sign their rookie deals. With rookie contracts, there’s not all the much room for negotiation, so it becomes a matter of when, not if they sign.
One of the main sources of potential holdouts, and one which was a potential concern for Nick Bosa last season, given that it happened with his brother, Joey Bosa, is offset language, and how a player’s signing bonus is paid out. Often, players want as much money up front as possible, while teams tend to want to spread that bonus money over time.
The holdout for Joey Bosa came from this debate over offset language, as NFL agent Leigh Steinberg outlines here:
“Some first-round contracts are totally guaranteed for skill and injury over the first four years. If a player with a guaranteed contract is cut in his fourth year, for example, the team is still obligated to pay the salary to him. What teams often propose is language that would deduct money the player receives in the same year from another team from the total the original team is obligated to pay. They assert that such a player is being paid twice for the same service, and the issue has been settled in a variety of ways.”
In essence, if a player gets cut before their four-year deal is up, their guaranteed money is lessened by the amount they earn elsewhere.