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Minor Hurdles In Settling Claiborne Deal

IRVING, Texas --As expected, the Cowboys have gotten an early start on signing their draft class, partly due to the new CBA slotting system and the ability to hold rookie teaching sessions five days before the start of training camp in late July.

The Cowboys have only three picks still unsigned as of late Wednesday: cornerback and No. 6 overall pick Morris Claiborne, safety Matt Johnson and linebacker Kyle Wilber.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he would anticipate finalizing more deals this week. However, Claiborne's timetable appears to be a bit more uncertain. One factor is that only two top-10 picks, Carolina's Luke Kuechly and Buffalo's Stephon Gilmore, have signed so far.

"A lot of it has to do with the players that have signed in and around. I understand that," Jones said. "They want to make sure their deal is consistent with the other deals."

All teams with high draft picks seem to be facing the issue of offset language regarding payment of guaranteed money in the event that a player is cut before his rookie contract ends and he signs with another team.

"That's probably what is holding everybody up because the money is the money," Jones said. "I think everyone wants to be consistent at the end of the day. I think that is what is holding everything up -- see what is going to be the flavor of the day."

The Claiborne deal will get done, possibly well before the start of training camp. Exactly when remains to be seen.

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