Whether it’s Sam Bradford or Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, the first pick in next month’s NFL draft will instantly become one of the highest-paid players in the NFL, with a contract guaranteeing him close to $40 million.
John Madden says that’s out of whack and needs to be fixed.
“Everyone feels that needs to be corrected,” says Madden, the Hall of Fame coach and former broadcaster, in a wide-ranging interview with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “It just got slanted the wrong way, and I think they have to bring it back. This is the bigger question: If you take it away for the rookies, then who do you give it to? Do you give it to the owners where they make more money? Do you give it to the veteran players who are deep in their career? Do you give it to the retired players? Maybe you give it to the fans — think they’ll get any?”
Madden, who has the ear of Roger Goodell in his role as “Special Advisor to the Commissioner,” is certainly correct that a system that gives unproven Top 10 draft picks more money than almost any veteran makes is in serious need of being fixed. I’d like to think that re-slicing the pie so that veterans get a larger share and rookies have to prove themselves before getting that share would be something the owners and the players’ union can agree on.
Ultimately, Madden says, finding areas where the owners and players can agree is vitally important.
“The game is so good right now, and any place where it’s not real good we are working to make it better,” Madden said. “I just hope they don’t screw it up.”