The Los Angeles Chargers had two first round picks this year, first taking quarterback Justin Herbert at six, then trading up to select linebacker Kenneth Murray at 23. Thus far NFL teams have signed 23 of 32 first round picks in 2020, but nine more remain unsigned. That includes both Herbert and Murray.
Unsigned 1st-round picks:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 23, 2020
1. Bengals QB Joe Burrow
4. Giants OT Andrew Thomas
6. Chargers QB Justin Herbert
19. Raiders CB Damon Arnette
23. Chargers LB Kenneth Murray
24. Saints C Cesar Ruiz
27. Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks
29. Titans OT Isaiah Wilson
31. Vikings CB Jeff Gladney
The Chargers have the most notable, and perhaps only first round rookie holdout since the 2011 CBA when pass rusher Joey Bosa missed the first four games of 2016. Contract language and structure held up Bosa’s deal as the years, total money (all of which is guaranteed), and fifth-year option are non-negotiable.
Will the same happen with LA again this year with either Herbert or Murray?
That’s not for us to say but it is still unlikely. Last year these first round picks signed their rookie contract on or after July 23: Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, and Brian Burns. The last two sign were Bosa and Williams on July 25. Given the unusual circumstances of 2020 and the lack of offseason workouts and rookie minicamps and potentially a delayed training camp, there is even less of a rush to sign first round picks this year.
The only real difference is that instead of the usual one first round pick to negotiate with, general manager Tom Telesco has two. That doesn’t sound too bad and eventually both will sign.