Just six weeks after the NFL draft, 192 of the 254 players selected have signed their contracts. Seven teams already have signed all of their draft picks, including Rams NFC West rival Seattle. Eight other teams have signed all but one of their draft picks. And 31 of the 32 NFL teams have signed at least two picks. The exception? The St. Louis Rams. Seven of the remaining 62 unsigned picks in the NFL are Rams draft picks — their entire draft class of 2013. At face value, this seems curious because in the aftermath of the new collective bargaining agreement, all of the contracts are slotted by draft round and position in that round. With first-round draft picks getting much less money under the current CBA, almost all of the drama is gone in signing draft picks. Holdouts are nearly a thing of the past. With rare exception very little negotiating takes place. “It’s a little bit like you have the answers to the test when they hand it to you,” said Kevin Demoff, Rams executive vice president of football operations. “It takes a lot of the guesswork out of it.” What then, is the holdup in terms of Rams picks? The Rams have preferred to wait a while before getting the deals done. It’s another quirk in how coach Jeff Fisher runs his program. “We just feel like they’ll be better suited if we can take them through step A and B of Financial Planning 101 before we give ‘em the money,” Fisher said. “It’s just that simple. We’ll get them all signed and we’re communicating with them.” He then added, with a touch of sarcasm: “They’ve got a roof over their head and three meals, and they’re doing fine right now.” It’s been pretty well documented how many pro athletes squander their money by the time their careers have ended. Fisher figures the players, and the team, will benefit if he and the rest of the Rams’ organization can set expectations for the rookies on and off the field before showing them the money.
Rams are in no hurry to sign draft choices
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jun 9