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Patriots, McCourty have been talking

Posted by Albert Breer  July 19, 2010 02:39 PM

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As we mentioned earlier (PFT addressed the subject as well), the language in D'Brickashaw Ferguson's contract could create something of a blueprint for a deal.

He's got an option bonus that is to be paid, "not earlier than the first day of the League Year immediately following the 2010 League Year, and not later than the day after the 1st regular season game the Club has played in the same League Year."

We'll see whether that works for rookies or not.

What's probably more important here is when the rookies start signing. Because usually, one leads to another leads to another ... And so on.

If Sam Bradford signs? Well, that likely won't have as much of an impact on McCourty, because the conditions aren't the same. But if Anthony Davis of the 49ers signs, as rumors have indicated he might (I heard they were close all the way back to before he changed agents in June)? That might be a sign that the ball is starting to roll down the hill on these things, since that's outside the category of silly money (Top 7-10 picks).

The question really is who will be the first to take the plunge. I've heard teams are very reluctant to give in on the language on these things, and the agents and players are being very careful about it.

And no one wants to be the guy who gave in and gave everyone else an example of how not-to-do-a-deal in this new environment. Which, it seems, is turning all this into one big staring contest.
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