The Indianapolis Colts signed first overall pick Andrew Luck today, joining Washington Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III as the only two of the top eight draft picks to agree to a deal with their new teams. Included in those top eight picks, of course, is Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. So, when will Tannehill sign with the team, and why, if the rookie salary cap exists, hasn't the deal already been completed.
The answer is in the contract language. Reports today say the hanging point in RG3's deal was language that, if the Redskins released him, whatever money remaining from his fully guaranteed rookie contract would have whatever his new contract with some other team paid him subtracted from what the Redskins owed. For example, if the Redskins cut RG3 before his $5 million final season, and another team agreed to a deal paying him $4 million that year, the Redksins wanted to only pay him $1 million. RG3's camp felt that the Redskins guaranteed the contract, so any new money should have nothing to do with the old deal. Washington final capitulated, and the deal got done.
It's the extras in the deal that have to be negotiated to get Tanehill into camp on time. The Dolphins rookies and veterans all report on July 26, one week from today. There really is no worry between now and then, as the deal is virtually complete based on where Tannehill was drafted, but those underlying details still need to be worked out. RT17, as well as Michael Egnew and Olivier Vernon, will be signed in time for camp.
It's all just a matter of waiting for the announcement.