Bradford’s Deal Even More Reason to Adopt a Rookie Salary Cap

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by UnoDallas, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. UnoDallas

    UnoDallas Benched

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    Posted by Jeremy Fuchs under 2010 NFL Draft, NFL Owners, Off the Cuff

    Sam Bradford, the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Rams, has signed a six year deal worth $76 million. $50 million of that is guaranteed. $50 million. Let’s let that sink in. $50 million. Before he’s even played a snap.

    The issue of rookie pay is something that needs to be addressed to the NFL. Teams are guaranteeing absurd sums of money for someone who hasn’t even played a down.

    Sam Bradford’s $50 million guaranteed is a record. The 2009 1st overall pick, Matthew Stafford, received $41.7 million guaranteed. The 2008 1st overall pick, Jake Long, received $30 million guaranteed. JaMarcus Russell, the 2007 1st overall pick, received $32 million guaranteed. The 2006 1st overall pick, Mario Williams, received $26.5 million guaranteed.

    You get the point. These numbers keep going up. If nothing gets done, you’ll see the 2011 1st overall pick get somewhere near $60 million guaranteed. Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker: You’re about to be very rich.

    The problem with guaranteeing this money is that no one knows what’s going to happen with these players. Sam Bradford may turn out to be one of the greatest. He may be awful. We don’t know. But for every Peyton Manning, there’s a JaMarcus Russell.

    There’s an old adage in football circles: Miss on a quarterback early on in the draft, and you set your franchise back 5 years. It’s true. If you draft a JaMarcus Russell type, you are wasting money and years. There’s a way to fix this.

    Since no one can know how these players are going to be as pros, they shouldn’t be paid like the best in the game. Simple, right? It is. The NBA does it right. They have a rookie salary scale. Each draft position is assigned an amount. By the league. No arguing. No hold outs. This year, John Wall will receive a little over $4 million. That number goes up a bit in his second and third years. The 2nd pick, Evan Turner, will receive about $3.7 million. The salary goes down as the picks go down.

    There are no hold outs in the NBA. There’s no drama. You can miss on a 1st overall pick, and not be set back financially for years. Miss in the NFL, and you’re set back for years.

    The worse part about the way draft picks get paid in the NFL is that guys tend to hold out. On a football level, it makes no sense. As a rookie, you want to make an impression on the field, learn the playbook, and earn playing time. You can’t do that if you hold out. From a locker room standpoint, the veterans will not be happy. You’re alienating yourself from Day 1. From a PR standpoint, it’s doesn’t look pretty. There are no benefits to holding out. The money you get if you sign a day before training camp is going to end up being similar to the money you get if you hold out.

    There’s too much risk for teams. Say Sam Bradford turns the wrong way and tears his ACL. Obviously, I hope that doesn’t happen. But if he does, the Rams are still on the hook for $50 million. What if he’s awful? The line between bust and star is so thin. Teams are spending a fortune hoping the player falls on the right side of the line.

    But, as we know, football isn’t like that. Maybe a player turns the wrong way. He’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe he just sucks. Teams can’t predict these things. And, so no matter what happens, they’re on the hook.

    This is wrong. Rookies shouldn’t be entitled to this payday. They should have to earn this money. Teams shouldn’t have to dole out ridiculous amounts before they know what their investment looks like.

    It’s past time. Let’s get a rookie salary cap, Commissioner Goodell. And let’s get it now.
  2. jbowman0

    jbowman0 New Member

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    Amen Brother
  3. ZeroClub

    ZeroClub just trying to get better

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    I don't know ....

    It does seem like the first several picks of the 1st round are overpriced, but after them, overpayment doesn't seem to be too much of a problem, IMO.

    The guys who are drafted in the later rounds and who become starters or solid contributors often seem underpaid under their 1st contracts.

    Also, teams are allowed to trade draft choices. ... if a team thinks that drafting very early in the first round isn't in the best interest of their franchise, they can trade the pick.

    In general I have a hard time mustering up much sympathy for the "we must protect owners from themselves" argument. Football is a competitive game. Not only on the field, but across front offices.
  4. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    The NFL owners don't need any more reasons to do this.
  5. Biggems

    Biggems White and Nerdy

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    IMO, no rookie should make more than $1 million per season.

    All rookie contracts are 3 years, with team option for the 3rd year.

    1st round picks start at 900,000 (with top player receiving 100,000 signing bonus, all others receive 75,000)
    2nd round picks start at 800,000 (signing bonus 50,000)
    3rd round picks start at 700,000 (signing bonus 45,000)
    4th round picks start at 600,000 (signing bonus 40,000)
    5th round picks start at 550,000 (signing bonus 35,000)
    6th round picks start at 500,000 (signing bonus 30,000)
    7th round picks start at 450,000 (signing bonus 25,000)
    UDFAs get league minimum (signing bonus 10,000)
  6. nflandbooze

    nflandbooze New Member

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    The last I heard, the NFLPA is actually willing to go along with a rookie cap, but the owners want way more than just that.

    I think a far more limited salary for short term rookie contracts makes sense to just about everyone.
  7. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    What they pay unproven players is one of the sillier things in all of sports worldwide. It makes no sense at all.

    Spread that money around more and let those guys earn it first.
  8. ninja

    ninja Numbnuts

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    No team wants those top 5 spots in the draft. I think all teams were trying to trade out but there were no takers.

    The Rams spent beaucoup bucks on some scrub OL with the 2nd (?) pick in the draft last year. I think he had concussion problems and played little. If they miss on this $50 million QB, they will be in serious trouble for many years.

    They very well could have the top pick in 2011 and 2012. And the financial burden that goes with it.

    You may see some teams just letting the clock expire rather than make the pick. The Rams should have taken anything for a trade or just let the clock expire and drop down a few spots.
  9. Dodger

    Dodger Indomitable

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    That's exactly what we're going to start seeing happen if nothing is done about it soon. I guarantee you, though, that once a few teams pass on the first couple picks in the draft, it won't happen again. They'll install a rookie pay scale right away.

    Hell, maybe that kind of embarassment for the NFL during the draft is what's needed to actually get this done.
  10. windjc

    windjc Well-Known Member

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    But why havent team taken a stand. For instance the guaranteed money have almost DOUBLED in five years from 26 mil to 50 mil. It was 41 mil last year. WTH?
  11. Dodger

    Dodger Indomitable

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    Good question. I have no idea unless the NFLPA is opposing it or it's part of the collective bargaining agreement and can't be modified for whatever reason.
  12. HoleInTheRoof

    HoleInTheRoof Benched

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    This jumped out to me as well. That is absolutely ridiculous.
  13. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Rookie pay scale is a non-issue. The NFL wants it. The Union wants it (as the veteran players who comprise it want that money spent on them, instead of some wet behind the ears hopeful). It's just a matter of what form it will take. That is an issue that will be negotiated in the contract cycle.
  14. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Here is a quick though (not completely thoughtout) of how it should go.

    • 7th round picks get a base contract of $175k + incentives for playing time.
    • 6th round picks base contract of $225k + incentives for playing time.
    • 5th round picks get a base of $275k + incentives for playing time.
    • 4th round picks get a base of $325k + incentives for playing time.
    • All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks get a base of $250k plus signing bonus. (see below) + incentives for playing time.

    I think all rookies drafted in the first three rounds should get a base contract that is the exact same as list above but I also think the first three rounds should get signing bonuses worth $100,000 per pick.

    In other words, the 32nd pick in the 3rd round would receive $250k base and $100,000 signing bonus while the 31st pick in the third round would receive the same $250k base and $200,000 signing bonus.

    The first pick in the draft would receive a $250k salary and a $9,600,000 signing bonus. (signing bonuses should be paid out over the life of the contract) Each player receives a 15% increase in base pay each year and all contracts are for three years at which point players become restricted FA. Restricted free agency lasts for two more years. (total of five)

    Limiting the contract to three years gives the player (or team) a chance to renegotiate unfair contracts.

    As noted, I didn't think this out completely, but it sounds somewhat reasonable.

    This allows teams to pay the money to deserving players rather than untested rookies.
  15. Cowboysfan570

    Cowboysfan570 Well-Known Member

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    Whatever sort of rookie pay scale you put in place should be a high amount for the highest picks (would I mind a $10 million, 3-year contract for the top 5 draft choices? no) and it should either be indexed to inflation, league revenue, or have a set percentage growth year to year.

    So should the league minimum and any sort of UDFA signing bonuses. If they can do that then it would be a very good policy for the league IMO, but it's clear that rooks can't keep getting paid these ludicrous sums. It screws the veterans out of money they have played to earn and otherwise would make.
  16. Achilleslastand

    Achilleslastand Well-Known Member

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    Just like every other overrated QB to come out of the stoops era....A bust and outta the league in 5 years or less

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