Some of us, myself included, wondered aloud when Falcons rookie Dez Southward's contract remained unsigned as OTAs got underway. He didn't miss any time, but you couldn't help wonder what the problem was. After all, he's not exactly a top tier prospect. He's ridiculous athletic and in time his skill set may lead to solid production. That said, there's work to be done.
As the NFL's quirky salary rules would have it, Southward was basically stuck between a rock and a hard place when negotiating his contract.
As former agent Joel Corry explained, there is more variance with third-round pick deals than any other round. They don't encounter the same signing bonus and minimum salary base deals as those drafted in the fourth through seventh rounds. That would explain why Southward's agent probably tried to negotiate more money and thus, extended the process a little longer.
So there you have it. In a league where careers and brain cells are short-lived, you have to maximize your
hazard pay income. Southward wasn't exaggerating his abilities or trying to manipulate the Falcons, he was just doing what he had to do, given the guidelines his contract must conform to. No harm, no foul. He's now signed and we all move on. Nothing to see here.