Carolina Panthers

Panthers' top picks still remain unsigned

CHARLOTTE -- The easy part's over for the Carolina Panthers.

They agreed to contracts with fifth-round pick Tim Shaw and seventh-rounder C.J. Wilson Monday, giving them just three rookie deals left to finish with three days until players report to training camp.

The Panthers still have to reach contracts with first-rounder Jon Beason and second-rounders Dwayne Jarrett and Ryan Kalil.

And for a change, the first-rounder might not be the hardest one to finish.

Many league sources have suggested that this year's second round is as tricky as the first, and for the Panthers it could become especially so.

Both of their picks in round two were regarded as tremendous values, which is good except for when it's time to talk money.

Even though both players slipped past where many thought they'd be chosen, agents often try to milk more than the salary slot would usually yield.

For instance, Kalil was widely considered the top center and the second-best offensive line prospect in the draft. The Panthers were as surprised as any when he was still on the board when they picked 59th.

But his agent, Tom Condon, is known as a tough negotiator, one who'll use the pre-draft reputations of his players to full advantage.

The same could hold true, to a lesser degree, Jarrett. He was thought to have been a sure first-rounder when he came out of USC, but slipped to 45th.

Jarrett's agent, Darin Morgan, said Monday that: "We are talking and are hoping it will be done before camp opens."

Further complicating the second-round is the lack of deals to compare to. Entering Monday, only three second-round picks had agreed to terms. Fortunately for the Panthers, two of them were picks immediately below their own, which at least provides a floor for negotiations.

Both Shaw and Wilson agreed to four-year deals, extending their trend of locking up their latter picks to longer deals. That keeps them out of restricted free agency after three years (the old standard for lower picks), and the deals all include escalators for the final year if players meet certain incentives.

Shaw got a signing bonus of $159,000, while Wilson's was undisclosed.

Once the deals agreed to Monday become official, the Panthers will have to cut a pair of players. They currently have 92 on the roster, including the five unsigned picks and seven NFL Europe exemptions.