NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made clear that he wants the next Collective Bargaining Agreement to reform the system that makes highly drafted rookies some of the highest-paid players in the entire league.
And Goodell says he has an important ally on that front in veteran players who agree with him.
“Yes, we’ve had a lot of discussion about it and I think there’s a recognition that the system is out of whack. I hear this from veteran players,” Goodell told Sal Paolantonio on 97.5 The Fanatic, per Sports Radio Interviews. “Veteran players want this changed. It’s hard to see a rookie player who hasn’t played in the NFL make that kind of money when guys have performed at a high level on the NFL level. That’s where the money should be going.”
The question is, if Goodell and the owners want the pay scale changed, and the veteran players who make up the membership of the union want it changed, why hasn’t it already been changed? Sure, there are some opponents to changing the rookie pay scale, such as players currently in college and the agents who plan to represent those players, but neither college players nor agents are members of the NFL Players’ Association, and therefore the union doesn’t represent their interests.
Ultimately, the union may be resisting change because it sees rookie salaries as a bargaining chip that can be played during negotiations. But if Goodell is right about how veteran players feel, there’s no good reason for the rookie pay scale to remain out of whack much longer.