Blog Entry

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 12:20 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

The lockout isn't over, and there's absolutely no guarantee that there willl be a new CBA any time soon. But it sure does feel as if everyone's moving along on the same path toward football in 2011, doesn't it?

So, hey, some cold water: The deal ain't done yet. And one of the issues that just popped up early last week was how to handle implementing some sort of rookie wage scale.

Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the owners and the players broached the issue for the first time last Thursday, and "it proved to be a difficult issue to navigate."

Apparently, while the players are fine with reducing the amount of money that goes to high draft picks, they want those same draft picks to get to free agency quicker, via a four- or five-year track, instead of six.

And, of course, there's the issue of how to take the money that was getting pumped into the highly paid rookies and redirect it to veterans. Neither of these issues will be easy for the two sides to find common ground, primarily because it's such new territory.

The good news, however, is this: Though the rookie wage scale was just recently talked about and though there are some differences for the two sides right now, it's a fairly small drop in the bigger bucket.

If the players and owners can each find a respective "happy place" for the revenue sharing issue, the wage scale will likely fall into place shortly before a new CBA is locked down.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 3:45 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:54 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 4:43 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: June 29, 2011 2:08 pm

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

most players never play beyond their rookie contracts
That's the most telling statement I've ever heard for more reasonableness in rookie contracts.

Injuries are not as relevant here as poor performance. Lots of guys who sign huge rookie contracts fail to live up to them, and hurt the team and the other players who deserve more money. Some get injured and are never the same, but the majority who exit early bust because they were rewarded for a fine college career (or for their potential) and simply couldn't make it in the NFL.

Let's stop rookies from hurting the other players who have proven for years (at a discount) that they deserve to be there. That's how the player's fan should think.

Maybe the rookie contract could allow for performance bonuses to make their pay go up as high as the max rookie contract level. So if a young player signs for the league minimum, he can get a big bump if he quickly becomes an outstanding player, like Adrian Peterson did. But the teams are not anchored by a huge rookie contract for players who never came close to living up to expectations. Limit the high end damage so that money can be paid to young players who exceed expectations during their first contract.

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:20 pm

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

Objectiveobsvr, that plan makes so much sense, it'll never get enacted! Seriouly, you have a good idea there. It seems fair and allows teams to reduce their risks but still allows players to be rewarded if they turn out really good, but not screwed if they get hurt or something.

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:14 pm

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

Reduce the amount of money given to rookies, let them be FA's after 5 years (vs. 6) and the owners get half of the savings and use the other half to increase the minimum salary for veterans. That way a guy who has done nothing in this league walk away with $30m, (JaMarcus Russel), middle of the road veterans get a little extra pay and the owners can take their half of the savings to lower ticket prices for the fans.......hahaha, like that would ever happen......but still, they can use the money to improve their stadiums, or sign better players, or just keep it.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:48 am

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

The problem with the rookie wage issue is that the owners want to reduce the money given to rookies, but most players never play beyond their rookie contracts, so the players are saying, ok lower the money up front, but at least shorten the length of the contracts to make it so a guy who plays well will have the opportunity to sign a deal he's earned.  The owners once again want to have their cake and eat it too.  That said, I think they are not so far off on their positions on this that it will hold things up, and I think they are in Minnesota because they are close to a deal, and would need to file a settlement with the court if they get it done.  I am hopeful we will see it by the end of the week.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:02 am

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

Just slot the draft picks with a reasonable salary that compensates the higher picks more than the lower picks. High picks will still be multi-millionaires, just not $50 million guaranteed. Teams must pay draftees the same salary for the first 3 years (no matter how bad the player performs or sits on the bench), or release the player so he can sign with another team. If they keep the player for 3 years, the team must negotiate a new contract after that.

If the player does not sign a new contract and tests the free agent waters after 3 years, the drafting team gets to match any offer and keep the player for a 4th year. After 4 years, the player can be an unrestricted free agent or sign a new contract with his team. The good players will get a big payday after either 3 years or 4. The marginal players will not get away with stealing guaranteed millions and failing to perform up to the expectations of the fans or the team. They will still make a good living if they earn a roster spot. No more anchors on the payroll before they ever play a down in the NFL. That's good for the teams, the fans, and the players who perform. If it turns out you can't compete in the NFL, you should not leave with millions solely based on your college career.

Finally, have an injury clause so young players don't get hosed if they have a career-ending injury in the first 3 years. Maybe a percentage of the first 3 years is guaranteed in the event of injury, so they still walk away with a nice bundle even if they never got to play a full season before leaving the game.

Here's an example. The #1 pick gets $5 million a year for 3 years. The #2 pick gets maybe $4.85 million, and so on until we reach the league minimum salary. It could be that by round 6 or 7 all rookies make the league minimum. Slotted salaries would add strategy to the draft. Do we draft a QB at a certain spot because it brings higher value for the salary slot or take the best available player at any position? Slotted salaries by draft position might move more QBs up in the draft and bring linebackers and safeties down in the draft. There is no perfect system, but this would be a step in the right direction and bring some sanity to how the league compensates unproven players.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:20 am

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

boomer12: I think the players would all sign on for that.  NBA contracts are also guaranteed, and there is no franchise tag or restriction to movement afterwards either.  I personally think that's exactly how it should be.  If you don't sign your guy after 3 years, too bad, that's your problem.  Maybe you should have paid him more and gotten him under contract instead of looking to pay the least possible amount.  But hey, at least you didn't have to pay him much those 3 years, so you got what you wanted, right?

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:29 am

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

This was never a Both sides issUE.  The Owners made the Players a shitty Deal, and when they found out the Players would actually go so far as to blow everything up with the Anti-Trust exemption suit, they finally made a fair offer of 48% with enough perks and salary mandates for the money to make it a "Fair Deal"

A$ for the rookie scale.  The Top guy "has" to go to the team that drafts him, thus he should be compensated.

If less of the money is in Bonus, they can cut the guy whenever they feel.  This is the issue....the Guarantee.   I say 3 years on the Gurantee with 5 max on the contract till free agency really settles it all.    If you don't like the guy you took.....let him go.     &n

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or