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Why haven't Joshua Garnett, Will Redmond signed 49ers rookie contracts?

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The San Francisco 49ers have two unsigned rookies. We have a possible explanation for one, and a likely explanation for the other.

The San Francisco 49ers drafted 11 players in the 2016 NFL Draft, and on May 6, they announced that nine had signed their rookie contracts. The only players not included in the announcement were first round pick Joshua Garnett, and third round pick Will Redmond.

The Garnett signing is likely related to the Stanford quarter system. All rookies are allowed to participate in the rookie minicamp. For all subsequent practices in the offseason workout program, players have to either have already graduated, or their school has to have completed final exams. Some schools run on a quarter system, with the Pac-12 being the most notable. Since Stanford does not have finals until early June, Garnett cannot practice with the team until the end of the mandatory minicamp June 7-9. My guess is he will sign his contact fairly quickly at that point.

Will Redmond is a different situation. He is practicing with the 49ers, having likely signed a waiver until his contract is done. His third round status actually raises one of the few interesting issues that remains in this new era of the rookie wage scale. ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss recently discussed it in explaining why the Patriots third round pick, QB Jacoby Brissett, had not yet signed a contract (h/t to our Patriots blog on this one).

Reiss learned that as of last weekend, while 75 percent of draft picks had signed, only 15 of 35 third round picks (43 percent) had signed. It turns out allocation of rookie cap space has impacted the third round.

The reason is that first- and second-round picks can receive a maximum of 25 percent allocation of a team's rookie salary cap, but because the third round doesn't max out at 25 percent, there is often debate over what the correct percentage should be. That has created a situation where the third round has been the spot in the draft where some agents are pushing for more annually, such as the inclusion of workout bonuses in the deals.

It sounds like this is a slightly bigger deal for third round quarterbacks, but I can see how every third round pick might push on this a bit. As it currently stands, Over The Cap has projected Redmond to get a signing bonus of $872,556, and base salaries of the league minimum for the first three years, and a slight boost in year four. Redmond is eligible for the proven performance escalator, which can raise his fourth year salary based on snap counts for his first three seasons. However, I imagine he is trying to negotiate some workout bonuses or slight increases in his base salary.