Who is the highest NFL Draft pick to never sign a contract?

I was looking at a number of the hold outs

on contracts, and many of the players have

waited until the start of the season, but the

first round picks always seem to eventually


I was wondering if there were any 1st

rounder picks that did not sign. If they don't

sign with the team that drafted them, what

does the team get in compensation?

Can the player be drafted again by another



I think to need to clarify a bit.

Bo Jackson's and Charlie Ward would

both qualify (drafted, but did not sign

that year ), Eli Manning does not since he did sign that year, with his rights being traded and the team he was drafted by being compensated.

Update 2:

I just checked, Ward was not drafted in the first round, which is why he chose to go into the NBA instead of play for the NFL. Bo Jackson as #1 pick overall appears to be the best answer.

7 Answers

  • d b
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Bo Jackson was selected #1 overall in 1986 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He never signed with the Bucs, instead chosing to play baseball for the Royals.

    He did go back into the draft in 1987, where the Raiders got him in the 7th round.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Oh, they'll get their money. Maybe not the whole of it... I think it's 16mil that they're after? Regardless, there are many contractual contingencies in place for situations like this. Even if the committing of a felony was not a part of his contract for employment (which it had to have been, it's a part of almost every employment contract ever written) part of the labor agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA allows for a team to recoup signing bonus money for a player unable to perform for reasons other than injury, and in some cases even for injury, if the injury was caused by reasons specifically outlined in the contract. I may be mistaken, but Kellen Winslow had to give some money back to the Browns for hurting himself in that bike crash because that kind of behavior was laid out in his contract. It probably happens all the time, we just don't hear about it because it's not a hot-topic issue like with Vick.

  • 1 decade ago

    Eli Manning, first overall pick, refused to play for the San Diego Chargers that he was drafted by.

    My point exactly disboygotskillz7, Eli was drafted first but, refused to wear the Chargers cap in hopes that he would go elsewhere, yes he was traded for fourth overall pick phillip rivers from the giants, so therefore he did not sign the contract with the team he was drafted by, like the question asks.

  • 1 decade ago

    Felix (Doc) Blanchard was drafted first by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1946 and did not sign a contract . He stayed in the Army until he retired a General.

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  • 1 decade ago

    charley ward from florida state was drafted in the top 20 but never played because he played basketball instead. also when steve young graduated college he signed a 40 year 40 million dollar contract in the now defunked usfl. thats right 40 years. but he went to the 49s in the nfl instead.

  • 1 decade ago

    I believe The correct answer would be the heissman trophy winner from dem noles,Mr. Charlie Ward

  • Isaac
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    umm Eli Manning was traded for Philip Rivers smithdj42

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