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2023 NFL Draft

Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr. among Final 3 Unsigned Draft Picks



Joey Porter Jr.
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr.'s introductory press conference, April 29, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

There are only three players that have not been signed from the 2023 NFL Draft Class, and Pittsburgh Steelers second-round pick Joey Porter Jr. is among them, just 48 hours before the team is scheduled to report to St. Vincent College for training camp on Wednesday.

After the Indianapolis Colts agreed to terms with No. 4 overall pick, quarterback Anthony Richardson and the Arizona Cardinals signed second-round linebacker B.J. Ojulari on Monday, the last three unsigned players are Seattle Seahawks No. 5 pick, cornerback Devon Witherspoon; Porter and Seahawks No. 52 second-round pick running back Zach Charbonnet.

RELATED: What’s the Holdup in Steelers, Joey Porter Jr. Contract Talks?

With salary length and total value largely determined by the NFL’s CBA-mandated contract slotting system, the issues at hand are typically related to the payment schedule of bonuses and the percentage of the contract that is guaranteed.

The payment schedule of the singing bonus was the issue with Richardson, who got the Colts to pay his entire $21.72 million bonus at signing. That has been the trend for highly drafted quarterbacks. In 2021, first-round quarterbacks Trevor Lawerence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance all got their signing bonuses paid up front.

For Porter and likely others, the pressing matter is the percentage of guaranteed money. All first-round draft picks have had fully guaranteed contracts, and most second-round picks have some guarantees into the fourth and final year of their deals.

So that means No. 31 overall pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah had his entire $11.817 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs guaranteed. The pick behind Porter, No. 33 overall selection Will Levis had all but $811,205 of his $9.542 million contract with the Tennessee Titans guaranteed. He has 60% of his final-year salary guaranteed.

So Porter’s contract will fall somewhere between fully guaranteed and a 60% guaranteed. Essentially, the farthest the team and player can be apart — and again, only on what is guaranteed, not total compensation — is about $850,000.

There is also a potential issue between the NFL and NFLPA when it comes to the clarification of Porter’s draft slot. The No. 32 overall pick is typically a second-round pick, but was not this year because the Miami Dolphins forfeited a pick.