|Another hangup for Jenkins deal. (US Presswire)|
Now that Robert Griffin III has signed with the Redskins, we should see the rest of the unsigned rookies start to ink deals with their respective teams. Though in the case of Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, it may be a little longer than St. Louis would like.
You see, there's reportedly a new problem with his deal -- previously it was over financial management -- involving the payment of his signing bonus. According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Rams would put some "safeguards" in Jenkins contract by paying out his signing bonus over a period of time.
The signing bonus, per Cole, should end up checking in at around $3 million. The Rams would, reportedly, like to split the bonus up into "four equal parts over the course of the contract."
Jenkins and his agent, Malik Shareef, are, quite understandably, not thrilled about this prospect. The idea here is that if Jenkins misbehaves -- or simply doesn't work out for St. Louis -- the Rams won't be on the hook for the full $3 million, much less the full $5 million they'll reportedly end up owing him for the course of the contract.
"According to sources, Shareef is concerned about how he will be viewed by other potential clients (and how he'll be criticized by other agents) for taking such a deal," Cole writes.
Cole likens the pro-rated bonus plan to something the Patriots did with Aaron Hernandez, drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Like Jenkins, Hernandez got in trouble while at Florida and, like Jenkins, fell in the draft (only further). The Patriots gave him just a $200,000 signing bonus at the time, around $300,000 less than Joe McKnight took one pick earlier. But Hernandez received better bonuses over the course of his contract. Because he's stayed out of trouble, he's going to end up making more money than others taken in the same round.
The Rams, presumably, would look to do something similar with Jenkins and, according to a Rams source speaking to Cole, have offered to pay Jenkins interest on the bonus money that's being held.
"Do you really think the kid is going to go back in the draft over this?" the source told Cole. "After all he has been through? Look, we want to pay him and we want to pay him fairly. We're not trying to cut the money way down or anything like that. We just want to keep him focused and this seems like a good way to do it."
This anonymous Rams person is right: Jenkins can't go back in the draft. His stock already took a hit because of the slew of red flags in his personnel file. Leaving St. Louis (after Jeff Fisher took a chance on him) and going back in the draft would only push him further down. There would be more teams that took him off their list of draft-able players.
And ultimately that leave him with no choice but to take the Rams deal and prove that he really has changed.
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