Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
MANKATO, Minn. -- Thanks to everyone who participated in Monday's chat, held live from the Vikings' media center at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Nick (Marshfield, WI)
Any word on why the deal with Raji is taking so long? Does he have some specific issues with the contract he's being offered?
Kevin Seifert (1:12 PM)
I think it's mostly a slotting problem. Michael Crabtree at No. 10 isn't signed, so Raji's agent isn't going to want to take a deal that might ultimately be worse than Crabtree's. And Darrius Heyward-Bey's big contract is making it difficult on the other side.
Let's expand on that answer a bit. Raji, of course, was the No. 9 overall pick in the draft. If you look at this chart compiled by our ESPN.com editing staff, you'll see that only one player between picks six and 12 are signed. That would be Heyward-Bey, whose five-year contract represents about a 17 percent increase over that of the No. 7 overall pick last season (New Orleans defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis.)
So at this point, the only thing agents and negotiators have to go by in determining 2009 values between 6-12 is the 17 percent increase Oakland gave Heyward-Bey. That hefty jump is spurring caution as everyone waits for another team or agent to jump out and further define the market.
That's a big part of what's causing the holding pattern that Raji finds himself in. As we learned Sunday with Minnesota receiver Percy Harvin, stalemated negotiations can jump-start on a moment's notice. But there are so many unknowns in that portion of the draft that it could take some time before things flesh out and everyone gets to training camp.
What does that mean for Raji? At least a couple of days and maybe more. On with the show.