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http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index...%3dclayton_john

Signings begin: Now that the Eagles, Bills, Bears and Dolphins have jumped into the draft choice signing business with deals Friday, expect more signings in the mid and lower rounds. It is still going to be a challenge at the top of the draft even though the first and third selections are under contract. The problem is a new rule that went in place when the NFL shortened the collective bargaining agreement and created an uncapped year in 2010. Because of the uncapped year, it's going to be hard for agents to get guarantees close to the $34-plus million given Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Without getting too complicated, guarantees in the sixth year of the contract must be spread in pro-rated form over the first five years, blowing the rookie pool numbers. Expect most -- if not all -- of the remaining top draft choices to receive five-year deals.

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xSICKxWITHxITx (6/11/2008)
http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index...%3dclayton_john

Signings begin: Now that the Eagles, Bills, Bears and Dolphins have jumped into the draft choice signing business with deals Friday, expect more signings in the mid and lower rounds. It is still going to be a challenge at the top of the draft even though the first and third selections are under contract. The problem is a new rule that went in place when the NFL shortened the collective bargaining agreement and created an uncapped year in 2010. Because of the uncapped year, it's going to be hard for agents to get guarantees close to the $34-plus million given Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Without getting too complicated, guarantees in the sixth year of the contract must be spread in pro-rated form over the first five years, blowing the rookie pool numbers. Expect most -- if not all -- of the remaining top draft choices to receive five-year deals.

Thank you.  I posted this exact reason shortly after Ryan was signed and for some reason people completely spaced out when they read it and continued to argue over the length of contracts.  I believe the confusion is in the assumption that the bonus is always prorated over the length of the contract instead of a period shorter than the contract.

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