The San Francisco 49ers have signed all but three of their 2017 NFL draft picks, with only Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, and C.J. Beathard unsigned. The 49ers are in the midst of their offseason workout program, and Foster and Beathard have been participating, likely having signed waivers until they get their contracts done.
Thomas remains unsigned and is not participating in the program due to Stanford’s academic calendar. Rookies that have not graduated are not allowed to take part in the offseason workout program until their final exams have ended. Stanford is on the quarter system, and exams run June 9-14.
Thomas is in Texas while he remains away from the team, and he ran into NFL personnel legend and NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt on Thursday. He told Brandt he’s hopeful and eager to get a deal signed soon.
Bumped into Solomon Thomas in Dallas yesterday. He's hopeful/eager to get signed soon. Repped by CAA, same folks Joey Bosa had last year.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) May 26, 2017
Of the three rookies, Thomas and Beathard are the intriguing ones in regards to their rookie deals. The CBA negotiated in 2011 provides a rookie wage scale, which makes total value fairly formulaic. However, there are a few areas where negotiations still happen
Beathard is intriguing because he’s a quarterback, and his deal happened in the third round. That’s where agents can mix things up a bit in terms of bonuses and the like. Beathard will not be starting for the 49ers anytime soon, and might not even be active his entire rookie season, so it makes for an interesting negotiation for the agent.
Thomas has the fifth-year option automatically included on their contracts. Where it gets interesting for Thomas at the top of the draft is what kind of offset language is included. Offset language is in place for in case a team ends up releasing a player. Picks at the top of the first round get completely guaranteed contracts at signing. If a player is released for whatever reason, offset language would mean if a player signs elsewhere, that money would offset what his current team owes him.
Brandt mentioned Bosa having the same representation. I would not put too much stock in that as CAA represents a lot of football players. Bosa’s holdout with San Diego last season was due to penny-pinching by the Chargers. Coincidentally enough, like Thomas, Bosa was the No. 3 pick in the draft. The Chargers wanted offset language in his deal, but they also wanted to defer payment on part of his signing bonus. A signing bonus is usually paid immediately, but sometimes teams and players will negotiate the cash payment to be broken up. The Chargers wanted both of those things, which would have been unprecedented. The offset language would have saved them money on the back end if Bosa didn’t work out. The deferred bonus would have saved them cash now, which they could invest and make money off of while waiting to pay him.
Last year, the 49ers last signing was Joshua Garnett, who did not sign until July 29. He was a late round pick after the 49ers moved up into the first round to draft him. I don’t think it ends up taking that long for Thomas to sign, but we can never know for certain how those negotiations are going until something is leaked and/or he eventually signs.
My guess is he signs in mid-June when he can re-join the team for a couple days after final exams.