Patriots cap expert explains why two top draft picks haven’t signed yet
By Jerry Trotta
Goodness, where has the offseason gone? The New England Patriots’ first training camp practice is set for July 28, which is officially less than two weeks away.
It feels like yesterday the Patriots were purchasing every free agent known to man. Now, the countdown has started until players hit the field for preseason camp.
Assuming the Patriots keep up with their longtime tradition, veterans will report the night before the first session, with rookies and those rehabbing from injuries arriving in Foxborough about three or four days prior to settle in before the regular-season tune-up kicks off.
The second group will feature the likes of Christian Barmore and Ronnie Perkins, the Patriots’ second- and third-round draft picks. While fans are excited to see how they’ll perform at camp, it’s worth noting they still haven’t signed their rookie deals.
Why would that be?
Well, per Pats salary cap expert Miguel Benzan, it’s likely both parties are hashing out some relatively minor details. In Barmore’s case, Benzan believes the Patriots could be mulling over how much of the Alabama product’s third-year salary will be fully guaranteed.
Here’s why Patriots’ DL Christian Barmore and Ronnie Perkins are still unsigned.
Issues like this are very prevalent among NFL rookies, so it isn’t surprising the Patriots are, at least for the moment, taking longer than usual to sign Barmore and Perkins.
Getting back to Barmore, his agent is likely pushing New England to give him a figure higher or equal to the one Yetur Gross-Matos, the No. 38 overall selection from 2020 and also a defensive lineman, received from the Panthers last offseason.
As Benzan noted, though he might’ve confused the Giants’ Xavier McKinney for Gross-Matos in his tweet, the Panthers edge rusher’s guaranteed figure as a rookie didn’t quite reach the 8% threshold. Just $100,000 of his $1.26 million salary (or 7.936%) was guaranteed.
As far as Perkins is concerned, Benzan understands the former Oklahoma star is in a similar position to that of his new teammate. The only difference? Per the cap expert, the Patriots could be deliberating whether to give Perkins the maximum in his third-year salary.
Like Barmore, Perkins’ speculated situation doesn’t appear to be major. However, since base salaries aren’t set in stone by the rookie wage scale, the Patriots could give their third-round selection fewer than the $1,095,076 maximum.
This stumbling block is very common among third-round selections, who are generally the last group of draft picks to sign every year. Assuming those details are sorted out in due time, both Barmore and Perkins should have rookie deals in place before training camp.