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Why hasn’t Malachi Corley signed his NY Jets rookie contract yet?

Malachi Corley, NY Jets, NFL, WR, Rookie Contract
Malachi Corley, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets have yet to sign Malachi Corley to his rookie deal

The New York Jets and Joe Douglas signed most of their 2024 draft picks on May 13. The only absence was third-round receiver Malachi Corley. Over a month later, Corley remains unsigned.

This is largely under the radar, as rookies have no leverage when it comes to their deals due to the rookie salary scale. Still, it remains somewhat notable. Why is Corley the lone holdout?

In 2022, Breece Hall had not signed his deal when the Jets’ rookies reported for training camp. When Texans safety Jalen Pitre, who was drafted with the 37th overall pick that season, received a fully guaranteed third year, the three players before him in the second round — Hall included — all demanded the same. Hall did end up with a full guarantee in Year 3. However, the pick before Corley, 49ers DB Renardo Green, has no guarantees in Year 3, making this point moot.

According to footballdb.com, the other third-round pick not under contract is Cardinals running back Trey Benson, taken one pick after Corley. Overall, five first-round picks haven’t signed their deals yet (Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze, J.J. McCarthy, Dallas Turner, Amarius Mims), while all second-rounders have inked their deals.

Perhaps Corley has an issue with offset language. In 2021, Zach Wilson didn’t officially sign his rookie deal until after training camp had already started, and offset language was reportedly the sticking point between him and the Jets.

Offset language essentially means that if the team releases the player and he signs elsewhere, the team can then reduce the money the team owes the player by the amount of the new deal. Players don’t like this because it essentially ensures they will receive a minimum deal with their new team, but it’s a standard around the NFL.

Either way, this is a non-story unless it drags into training camp. Still, it’s interesting that all the other rookies signed seemingly in one fell swoop but Corley remains without a deal.

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