The big snag between the Minnesota Vikings and first-round draftee Matt Kalil had been the talk of offset language, but they worked through that on Thursday and reached a contract agreement.
Many of the top-end first-round picks were the last to sign with their respective teams, despite the new collective bargaining agreement attempting to rectify holdout situations by putting caps on what rookies can make depending on their draft positioning. If we've learned anything, it's that players, teams and, of course, agents will find something to fight over when negotiations are going down.
Guaranteed money is the new "big issue." Players still need to negotiate what portion of their allotted salary is guaranteed, while teams are trying to play preemptive damage control in the event that their chosen player happens to be a bust. This is where offset language comes in, and has been an issue.
In so many words, offset language is a way for teams to get out of paying guaranteed dollars in the event that they cut a player before the contract is up. If a player signs for a deal that is equal to or greater than the guaranteed dollars that were remaining on the previous contract, then the first team no longer has to pay that money. It's offset to the new team. The player gets what he was originally supposed to make regardless. No offset language means that player would get paid by the first team and the second team.
Kalil, like many of the top-end players in the 2012 NFL Draft, want no offset language. The Vikings don't. Something had to give, and now, it looks like something has, as the Pioneer Press reports via Twitter that the two sides have agreed to terms and that a deal should be signed on Thursday.
They followed up with another Tweet that says the deal is essentially in Kalil's favor:
I'm told Kalil is getting fourth year guarantee. Not sure if it's totally guaranteed, but sounds like no offset language.— Pioneer Press (@VikingsNow) July 26, 2012
In all, it didn't actually make much sense for the Vikings to stick to this issue. Kalil is going to be their left tackle, and it's hard to imagine him not performing up to par for his contract. Left tackles have a much higher rate of success than most other drafted positions, and even if he doesn't perform up to standards, it's hard to imagine the Vikings getting someone better to play the position over the next four years.