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Jets QB Sam Darnold misses first training camp practice over contract dispute

Jets QB Sam Darnold misses first training camp practice over contract dispute

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NY Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and team mates arrive for training camp. Chris Pedota, NorthJersey

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FLORHAM PARK — The New York Jets rejoiced in April when they finally landed their quarterback of the future.

But it sure looks like training camp is going to start with some angst, and without Sam Darnold on the field. 

The Jets and Darnold still have not come to a contract agreement as of early Friday afternoon. Barring a last-minute deal, the Jets will take the practice field at 1:50 p.m. without their first-round pick.

There's nothing good about this situation for Darnold or the Jets. 

The Jets picked Darnold No. 3 overall in April's NFL Draft. He is expected to battle Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job in training camp. But every practice rep he misses hurts his chances to win the job and is a missed opportunity for him to continue his development. 

If Darnold misses the first day of practice, it's obvious both sides are taking a hard line. And there's no telling how much time he might miss. 

The contract disagreement isn't about salary. Rookie contracts are slotted, and as the No. 3 pick, Darnold will make a non-negotiable $30.25 million guaranteed, including a $20.1 million signing bonus.

But offset language is negotiable. And according to multiple reports, that's the hold up with Darnold.

The Jets want offset language in the contract so they can recoup some of the guaranteed money in the contract if Darnold is cut and joins another team before the end of his rookie deal. Darnold and his agent do not want the offset language in the deal. 

Darnold and Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, the No. 8 overall pick, are the only two rookies remaining who haven't signed a contract. Smith has already missed several practices with the Bears. 

The quarterbacks picked before and after Darnold -- No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield (Cleveland), No. 7 pick Josh Allen (Buffalo) -- both signed contracts that included offset language.

Email: vasqueza@northjersey.com 

Check back for more on this developing story...

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