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Only 45 unsigned rookies left


Less than two months after the draft, 209 of 254 draft picks are now under contract.

That leaves (. . . removes one from the five . . .) 45 unsigned draft picks.

Most of the unsigned rookies were taken in the first round, where 24 players have yet to ink contracts. Fights are looming between the Dolphins and defensive end Dion Jordan at No. 3, the Eagles and tackle Lane Johnson at No. 4, and possibly the Browns and linebacker Barkevious Mingo at No. 6 over the issue of offsets for guaranteed money.

There also will be an effort to extend the four-year guarantees beyond pick No. 20. Last year, Titans receiver Kendall Wright (the 20th pick) was the last player to get all four years fully guaranteed. This year, Bears guard Kyle Long (the 20th pick) already has signed a contract including fully guaranteed pay for all four years.

In rounds two through seven combined, only 21 players are unsigned. No fights or squabbles are anticipated.

The process has become much easier under the 2011 CBA, which instituted a much tighter rookie wage scale -- and which reduced the number of issues on which teams and agents can haggle.