Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft, vows that ongoing contract negotiations won’t prevent him from reporting to camp on time. “I’ll patiently wait,” Claiborne told the Shreveport Times last week at an appearance in his hometown. “I’m not in no hurry. You hear a lot of talk about people saying I’m holding out. No, I’m not holding out. I’m going to camp signed or not signed. It don’t matter.” Bus Cook, Claiborne’s agent, told ESPNDallas last week that he didn’t know whether the former LSU star would be signed by the time the Cowboys opened training camp. Eight of the top 10 picks in the draft, including Claiborne, have yet to sign. The primary issue in these negotiations is the offset language of the deals, which addresses whether the team is responsible for the full guaranteed value of the contract if the player is cut and signs with another team. NFL teams typically want any salary the player earns with another team to be subtracted from the amount the drafting team is obligated to pay.
Rookies begin practice on July 25 at the Cowboys’ Valley Ranch practice facility, and the first full-team practices will be held July 30 in Oxnard, Calif. Claiborne, the only Cowboys pick yet to sign, was not able to participate in the team’s offseason workouts because he was recovering from pre-draft wrist surgery. The Cowboys sent their first- and second-round picks to the St. Louis Rams to move up eight spots to select Claiborne, and they expect him to be an immediate starter. “I can’t wait,” Claiborne told the newspaper, referring to the beginning of camp. “It’s been a while because of my wrist, so far so good. It’s getting healthy and I’m ready for camp to start.”