Jets QB Sam Darnold's holdout is finally over.
The two sides finally finished off the rookie's fully guaranteed, four-year, $30.25 million contract on Monday afternoon, according to an NFL source, and the Jets' Quarterback of the Future was at the team facility and ready to sign it. His deal will include a signing bonus of about $20 million and a team option for a fifth year.
Those details were set long ago, thanks to the rookie pay scale in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. But despite having three months to work out the other details, the two sides were stuck in recent days on "offset language" and "forfeiture language." The "offset" is about how much of the guaranteed money the Jets would be responsible for if they cut Darnold during his deal and he signed with another team. And the "forfeiture" clause would allow the Jets to void the guarantees in his contract if he's suspended or fined by the NFL.
Given that Darnold is unlikely to be cut or to have his contract voided, this seemed like an unnecessary stalemate. But the Jets were refusing to budge. And with the backing of the NFL Players Association, Darnold's agent, Jimmy Sexton, was locked in too.
It is not clear who blinked first. One source familiar with the deal said he believed the Jets were able to include "offset" language, allowing them to deduct whatever Darnold is paid by his new team from what they owe him if they were to cut him. It's not clear how the "forfeiture" dispute was resolved. The sticking point there seemed to be the Jets' insistence on being able to void his deal due to fines, not just suspensions.
However they resolved it, they did it before the Darnold holdout reached a week. He was due to report last Tuesday with the rest of the Jets' rookies and quarterbacks. The full team reported last Thursday and Darnold had so far missed three practices.
As Darnold jogged on to the practice field on Monday, his teammates greeted him with a slow-clap...
Sam Darnold officially arrives at Jets camp. pic.twitter.com/vMpsmEdm0Z- Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) July 30, 2018