Perusing the NFL blogs on SB Nation, it's easy to see that many teams are beginning the process of locking down their drafted rookies to contracts. The Saints have yet to do so. According to Mac's Football Blog, 26 of the 32 teams in the league - more than 81% - have signed at least one of their 2010 draft picks to date. On average most of those teams are about halfway through the process of signing their entire draft class and one team, the Chicago Bears, has already finished signing all five of their recent draftees. So when are the Saints finally going to kick the tires and light the fires on their own rookie deals?
Okay, the Saints are behind the rest of the league. Certainly no need to panic. Five other teams (Colts, Cardinals, Jaguars, Raiders, Cowboys) have yet to start the signing process so it's not like the Saints are the only ones. We also know that Mickey Loomis et al. have taken the Arthur Fonzarelli approach to the 2010 off-season so far: Calm, cool and collected. The front office has been frugal and prudent in these uncertain financial times, perhaps to a fault. And if that's the way they handle the players that help lead them to a championship, I doubt they're going to stop with the draft pick signings.
I would, however, expect the Saints to get in the game soon, starting with their later round picks. Thanks to Walter Football's impressive list of draft pick signings, we know that many of the players across the league chosen in rounds four through seven are already under contract and those numbers can now be used to determine what the remaining players around them should receive in their deals. For example, Al Woods, the 123rd overall pick, could very well be the first Saints pick to sign because the players drafted directly before and after him have already signed their deals. Since the parameters have been set by those contracts, there is very little wiggle room to haggle over.
What will most definitely take longer is getting the first and second round guys signed to deals. Thus far, no player drafted in round one or two has signed a contract, though the first pick of the third round (chosen right after Charles Brown) has so it's only a matter of time. Obviously the hope is that all of the Saints draft selections are locked up by the start of training camp but it has become commonplace to have a holdout situation. Last years first round pick, Malcolm Jenkins, missed some significant reps during camp due to contract negotiations. With any luck, that situation will be avoided with Patrick Robinson this year but again, given the organizations M.O. thus far this off-season, I'm not getting my hopes up.
That will be the question I leave you all with today. Will Patrick Robinson be quick to get under contract or will this turn into a huge headache for everyone involved?