This year, it's different.
The Cowboys have notoriously waited a bit to sign their draft picks. It's been a Dallas tradition to wait until the last minute for Dallas to bring their draft picks under the corporate umbrella. Not under this new CBA.
Today, Dallas signed their third draft pick of the 2013 offseason, William and Mary Cornerback BW Webb.
Three before the middle of May, not bad Dallas.
Even last year, the Cowboys didn't start signing their picks until mid-June, as they had to wait until Terrance Newman's June 1st cap savings kicked in.
The club didn't sign first-round pick Morris Claiborne until a few days before training camp. Last year, offset language was the big sticking point for the first round picks. Under the 2011 CBA, first round picks are signed to fully guaranteed, four-year contracts with team options for Year 5. That option has to be invoked after Year 3. Offset language basically safeguarded a team from having to pay guaranteed money should they release a player and he sign with another club. It takes them off the hook.
If Player X has $2 million guaranteed for Year 4, gets released and signs for $2 million with a new club then this would come into play. If there is offset language, the original club has to pay nothing. If there isn't, the player gets the money from both clubs.
That fight lasted while teams were sorting out the new CBA. It does not appear to be a 2013 issue as first rounders have been signing with no offset language. Now, even the first-round picks are all about being slotted into the rookie pool.
But today was B.W. Webb's day to lay down the swoops and curls on the dotted line. His new contract value is for four-years at slightly more than $2.5m total.
Todd Archer confirms that his base salary will be the rookie minimum, $405,000 just as the previous two Cowboys signings RB Joseph Randle and LB DeVonte Holloman's have been. Earlier this offseason, I projected the cap impacts of the Dallas rookie class, based on the new rookie minimum and signing bonuses given to those draft slots in 2012. With an assist from @Jason_OTC of Overthecap.com, things are falling right in line.
2013 Draft Slot 2012 Player 13 Base Salary Expected SB Proration Total '13 Cap Cost 18 Melvin Ingram $405,000 $1,136,956 $1,541,956 49 Kendall Reyes $405,000 $360,545 $765,545 82 Mike Martin $405,000 $146,517 $551,517 116 Orson Charles $405,000 $110,845 $515,845 153 Dannis Kelly $405,000 $47,220 $452,000 187 Josh Bush $405,000 $26,055 $431,000
BW Webb signing bonus with Cowboys is $443,380. Minimum base salaries. Deal worth $2.503m— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 14, 2013
Cowboy rookie deals: DeVonte Holloman signing bonus was $104,220. Joseph Randle to receive $188,880 bonus. Minimum base salaries— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 13, 2013
I told you all that OTC is your new resource for cap information. So far, picks 116, 153 and 187 are accurate to the penny (2 picks bypassed, but included for slotting purposes). This new CBA makes everything so easy!
As was discussed in the linked article above, the new signings have minimal impact on the Cowboys 2013 cap space. The "Rule of 51" means that their base salaries don't even register on the offseason cap computation because they are less than the bottom two contracts in the 51.
The three deals used up about $100,000 of new cap space. Dallas should still be around $4.7 million under the cap.