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De Smith’s comments about rookie wage scale miss the mark

On Wednesday, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith was interviewed on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning.  A source with knowledge of the dynamics between the NFL and the players’ union predicts that Smith’s comments about the rookie wage scale likely have ruffled some significant feathers at 280 Park Avenue.

Specifically, the source believes that Smith didn’t tell the whole truth regarding the union’s position on a possible rookie wage scale.

Smith said that the NFLPA proposed taking $200 million out of the current rookie compensation system, with only two requests.  First, the union wanted to give $100 million to retired players.  Second, the union wanted the other $100 million to be spent on proven veterans.

But there was a third condition, which Smith didn’t mention.  A big one.  The league contends (as NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said on the same show Thursday, and as Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal previously reported) that the union requested that the path to free agency be reduced to three years, with all franchise and restricted free agency tenders eliminated.

Said the source, “A P.R. campaign
in Washington that is misleading works because voters pull the lever on emotion.  Here, the fan reaction, while important, is secondary.  If trust is to be established, a good place to start is with honesty.”

We agree.  We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again.  (And, probably, again.)  These two sides are acting like Hatfield and McCoy at a time when they should be behaving like Batman and Robin.  As a result, the sport that has been bigger than Lennon and McCartney could make fans eventually react like Statler and Waldorf.

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37 Responses to “De Smith’s comments about rookie wage scale miss the mark”
  1. Douchebaggery says: Jul 22, 2010 12:34 PM

    SCREW THE PLAYERS! Who cares how much money they make? If there’s a lock-out, it’ll be because of their greed, not the owners.

  2. VegasBronco says: Jul 22, 2010 12:35 PM

    De Smith is a lawyer, they NEVER tell the whole story, just enough to high light THEIR points.
    No team will give in to the idea of only three years before UFA for rookies. Most are just getting trained by then.

  3. Stone says: Jul 22, 2010 12:41 PM

    That’s a nice stab at hyperbole, Florio, but the NFL will never be as popular or “bigger” than Lennon/McCartney on the global stage. Typical American egocentric viewpoint. Most people in the world are probably completely ignorant to the fact that the NFL exists. Most people in the world have heard of the The Beatles.

  4. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 22, 2010 12:41 PM

    Florio, well done. When you aren’t writing worthless mike vick blabber, you seem to gt the REAL issues that need more publicity on this site. 3 articles a day, AT LEAST, should be posted by you on exposing the ridiculosities (yep, ridiculosities) of the conflict between the league and the nflpa. Every time you are about to write some crap about t.o. or vick. or ouchosticko, refrain and publicize this issue more. THAT is real worthwhile news that makes you a cutting edge journalist when most other sites/media outlets are hush hush about it for some reason. It is retarded, and it’s gonna ruin the game if these sides don’t fall on their swords…

  5. Adam-Chris Schefterson says: Jul 22, 2010 12:43 PM

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. (And, probably, again.) These two sides are acting like Hatfield and McCoy at a time when they should be behaving like Batman and Robin. As a result, the sport that has been bigger than Lennon and McCartney could make fans eventually react like Statler and Waldorf.
    ——————–
    Dick Vitale just got schooled in name dropping.

  6. Chapnasty. says: Jul 22, 2010 12:49 PM

    umm only one side is missing the point here. The fans are smart enough to see Smith and the NFLPA for what it is. Union lovers can’t accept it though.

  7. Jeremy says: Jul 22, 2010 12:50 PM

    They’re going to have to be creative on this rookie scale thing. 3 years with no tags or tenders isn’t going to work. Most WRs and QBs don’t come into their own until at least year 3. So you develope them and then they’re gone?
    On the other hand a RB’s best years are often behind him after 5 years. They’re done by the age of 30 most of the time. You can’t really insist they play 5 years for peanuts (relatively speaking). They might never get a chance at that lucrative 2nd contract.

  8. stiller43 says: Jul 22, 2010 12:50 PM

    DeSmith sucks.

  9. Omega says: Jul 22, 2010 12:54 PM

    After the fiasco that James, Bosh, and Wade created in the NBA there is no friggin way the owners of small markets will allow players to leave after three years. No chance, nada , zip squat…
    It is common logic that great teams build through the draft. There is no way teams will allow 25% of their drafted players to walk every year.

  10. FinFan68 says: Jul 22, 2010 12:59 PM

    This union is one of the worst in history. They, like all unions, are only out to see how much they can squeeze out of the people who compensate them. Unions used to be about ensuring a fair wage for the “little guy”. I think it is fair to say that people earning a minimum of 325,000 per year (rookie who won’t even get on the field) are not among the “little guys”. Players are paid an enormous sum of money for what they do. The argument that “they could get hurt therefore they should get paid big money” is ludicrous. There is a certain risk a NFL player takes and the reward is already many times higher than it should be. Cops, firefighters, military, etc. have a much higher risk of getting hurt and they perform a much more important job and they are among the lowest paid professions. This union will ruin the NFL before all is said and done.

  11. FinFan68 says: Jul 22, 2010 1:01 PM

    This union is one of the worst in history. They, like all unions, are only out to see how much they can squeeze out of the people who compensate them. Unions used to be about ensuring a fair wage for the “little guy”. I think it is fair to say that people earning a minimum of 325,000 per year (rookie who won’t even get on the field) are not among the “little guys”. Players are paid an enormous sum of money for what they do. The argument that “they could get hurt therefore they should get paid big money” is ludicrous. There is a certain risk a NFL player takes and the reward is already many times higher than it should be. Cops, firefighters, military, etc. have a much higher risk of getting hurt and they perform a much more important job and they are among the lowest paid professions. This union will ruin the NFL before all is said and done.

  12. PriorKnowledge says: Jul 22, 2010 1:03 PM

    Let me get this straight – The players are upset because a career that lasts an average of 4 years and gives them enough money so they should be set for life, but in reality, 80% are bankrupt 2 years after they football – they are complaining they don’t make enough money? What is it? They want to last 3 years after football?

  13. Section731 says: Jul 22, 2010 1:14 PM

    Screw the Players? The only league that doesn’t have guaranteed contracts. I don’t pay to see owners -the money needs to go to the players. The rookie wage scale is good for a 1st rounder. How about the 5th round RB that makes the minimum and is used up by the time he hits free agency.
    The owners get over 40%. The players get used up in less than 4 years. An owner can rake it in forever. Open up the books! Let us see how much they are paying themselves – see what they are really making.

  14. Tuna says: Jul 22, 2010 1:32 PM

    Section731,
    As in all business if the company isn’t making money that business eventually goes away or they trim staff.
    Let’s not forget that that 40% is before expenses. You do know that every company has expenses don’t you?

  15. elgranderojo79 says: Jul 22, 2010 1:32 PM

    Yes, both sides are postering here, but if the rookies are going to be giving up that much bank they should have every right to cash in after 3 years. Everyone should know by then if they are worth a big contract. The NFL still wants to string them along with RFA tenders and Franchise Tags.

  16. Tuna says: Jul 22, 2010 1:34 PM

    It’s only a matter of time before Smith threatens to have the players start their own league.

  17. snnyjcbs says: Jul 22, 2010 1:53 PM

    I hope the Union has the players saving their money because they will need it. The owners will NEVER give up the Franchise Tag or lower Free Agency to 3 years and they will get their Rookie Wage Scale.
    The owners hold all the cards and look to be willing to sit out a whole year on a lockout. The owners will get what they want as they have put in place receiving the TV income for the year even if they do not play ball in 2011.

  18. Dan says: Jul 22, 2010 1:54 PM

    Most on here so far seem to be anti-player. But keep something in mind: It was the Owners who decided to tear up the current agreement. There would have been labor peace, a salary cap, a franchise tag, etc all of it.
    I have a hard time believing they arent raking in the cash and need relief. What was wrong with the last agreement except for a few minor tweaks.

  19. Suitcasehead Golic says: Jul 22, 2010 1:56 PM

    Who in their right mind names their kid DeMaurice??

  20. Douchebaggery says: Jul 22, 2010 2:13 PM

    731, so what? What is your point? The owners make money, and that’s a bad thing? They’re the owners, it’s their money all along! The players get to go to college for free, and they’re all broke within a couple years of retiring! I had to join the Army to go to college and I make a fraction of what they make, and do you think I’m bitching about how much my boss makes? Hell no! These guys have a golden opportunity to make the kind of money that can span generations, and they still want more! It’s ridiculous! SCREW THEM!

  21. Adam-Chris Schefterson says: Jul 22, 2010 2:16 PM

    Dan says:
    July 22, 2010 1:54 PM
    Most on here so far seem to be anti-player. But keep something in mind: It was the Owners who decided to tear up the current agreement. There would have been labor peace, a salary cap, a franchise tag, etc all of it.
    I have a hard time believing they arent raking in the cash and need relief. What was wrong with the last agreement except for a few minor tweaks.
    ———————–
    The whole system needs to be overhauled. There’s too much money involved.

  22. NationalFelonLeague.com © says: Jul 22, 2010 2:21 PM

    Suitcasehead Golic says:
    July 22, 2010 1:56 PM
    Who in their right mind names their kid DeMaurice??
    ———–
    It is common in some cultures to take a normal name and simply add La, Da or De in front.
    Who would name their kid Maurice is a better question.

  23. NationalFelonLeague.com © says: Jul 22, 2010 2:24 PM

    But there was a third condition, which Smith didn’t mention.  A big one.  The league contends (as NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said on the same show Thursday, and as Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal previously reported) that the union requested that the path to free agency be reduced to three years, with all franchise and restricted free agency tenders eliminated.
    ——-
    He must have been one of the few to enjoy te LeBron show on ESPN.

  24. TheRedBengal says: Jul 22, 2010 2:25 PM

    I’m a betting kind of guy. There are a few things in sports that you should never bet against. One of those things are NFL owners….

  25. ClownBurger says: Jul 22, 2010 2:37 PM

    There needs to be a rookie pay scale. The only ones against this are college players and agents.
    The teams HAVE to have 4 years minimum on their high priced rookies. They have to be given a chance to know what they have.
    If after 4 years the player is worth it, they will get paid as they deserve.
    It makes sense.
    Screw the players union. If the players don’t agree to this, I’d happily watch scrubs play!

  26. db3300 says: Jul 22, 2010 2:38 PM

    If the players hate the way they’re being treated so much, they’re welcome to join the millions of people standing in the unemployment lines. I’ll be just fine if pro football takes a year off. There’s still plenty of good football on Saturday.

  27. MBurkett says: Jul 22, 2010 2:40 PM

    Kiddies let this be a lesson, if you do not do well in school you will have to join the socialist, collective unions for any/all representation to management. I enjoyed scab football anyway (similiar to AAA baseball’s love for the game). Lock the overpaid players out for a season.

  28. Nard100 says: Jul 22, 2010 2:44 PM

    The owners complain about player costs, but they pay the players so how did the costs get out of hand? You’ve got owners like Al Davis and Dan snyder continually screwing over the other owners by awarding ludicrous salaries to mediocre players in the hope that they will be the “last piece” of the champoinship puzzle. They do it over and over. They seem to want their cake and eat it too. It puts a lot of pressure on responsible owners that should not be there. In the Arena leagut they ended up having to take drastic action to root out the problem. The dissolved the league and reformed it minus the Trump-like mavericks who thought they owned the place. The proposal needs tweaking, but overall it is sound. No more first round busts, no more trading down out of the first round because you’ll have to pay current first round money. you can truly evaluate everyone and pay performers based on merit.

  29. klungemonger says: Jul 22, 2010 2:44 PM

    Elgranderojo, your argument in behalf of the players holds no water. The removal of tags and RFA system would create free agency pandemonium. 5 minutes after midnight you’d have all sorts of Haynesworth-style deals being announced. The teams that put enough faith in these young guys to draft them, then the effort to develop them, should get the first opportunity to benefit from their skills right at the time when they should be peaking. The draft would almost become meaningless. You could draft whoever and if you miss a good one, just hang out a couple years and snatch him off the roster of some other team with no obstacles in your way.
    Besides, keeping those things in place in the CBA does nothing to prevent the Revis’ & Johnsons’ from simply refusing to play only 2yrs into their contracts w/o getting a hefty raise. People griping about the poor players “with no guaranteed contracts”. Nobody takes their contracts more lightly than the players themselves. Why should they get any guarantees? Earn your money on the field, or get lost.

  30. baracuda says: Jul 22, 2010 2:51 PM

    Average career in NFL is 4 years. Players want free agency after 3 vs 4. Whats so bad about that?
    Bottom line is that this entire problem exists because Billionaires like Mike brown and jerry Jones cant agree on how to split revenues so they paint the “soon to be crippled” millionaires as the bad guys.
    Ever been to a retired player function? Extremely sad!

  31. RyanT. says: Jul 22, 2010 2:56 PM

    De Smith is a scumbag lawyer and the players are idiots for hitching their wagon to him!
    As long as De Smith is head of the NFLPA a lockout or strike is almost a guarantee!
    The players will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs and the NFL will suffer terribly just like MLB did when their players went on strike!
    Lesson: don’t hire scumbag acquaintances of Barack Obama to run your organization into the ground!

  32. This is not news says: Jul 22, 2010 3:00 PM

    @NationalFelonLeague.com ©
    Some people call me Maurice
    Cause’ I speak of the pompetous of love
    - Steve Miller

  33. WeAreLuckyToHaveMikeFlorio says: Jul 22, 2010 3:14 PM

    speaking of pimps, i think that might apply to Mr Smith as well. he has established a record (florio your crack staff can verify this easily enough)
    of saying things that appear to be truthful and forthcoming and really are only a portion of the story.
    dealing in bad faith with the nfl will get you ‘bad faith’ from the viewing paying public and then the union will fail and fail miserably.

  34. Nard100 says: Jul 22, 2010 4:56 PM

    I think also that we need to understand what the owners are asking from the players that prompts proposals like this. they are asking the players to take an 18% paycut, but they are willing to open their books to properly explain why. I work for a company that had to suspend merit increases for a year. They opened the books and showed us why and helped us to understand that it was the difference between that and layoffs. When a company is willing to deal in good faith and show exactly how they managed their money, it’s easier to swallow certain things. No one said they owed it too us, but it sure encouraged buy in. The NFL has essentially said take an 18% pay cut unilaterally, “cause I said so”. Why would grown men do that?

  35. edgy says: Jul 22, 2010 5:24 PM

    Omega says:
    After the fiasco that James, Bosh, and Wade created in the NBA there is no friggin way the owners of small markets will allow players to leave after three years. No chance, nada , zip squat…
    ********************
    That’s a funny. You obviously don’t have any idea about what you’re talking about. You named TWO guys that left and one that stayed and they all entered the league in 2003, which means that they were in their respective markets for SEVEN years.

  36. nutnbutnet says: Jul 22, 2010 8:12 PM

    All of you that say screw the players, scumbags who worked for Obama, all unions do is squeeze money out of members………
    Why do you even watch football? You have no respect for the players and the chances they take with their health. No loyalty to the men who make football the great game that it is by competing with their fellow players, not colluding with each other to maximize their take of the cash. I never heard of a player going to a city or state for financial assistance of tax relief. There was a labor agreement in place, and it was the owners that opted out. It’s the owners that set up for a lockout. You’re just like Florio, who clearly takes the word of Jeff Pash and Liz Mullen as gospel because, well, because they’re you know, not De Smith.
    You are just jealous, selfish and some of you are clearly racist. And don’t give me that don’t call me a racist crap, because I’m white. I work with you, I grew up around you, and I know what you say and how you glance around before you lower you voice to use the n word.
    You would think that alone would get you to watch hockey instead of football, but then, you don’t like those pussy liberal Canadians either!

  37. Tom Shannon says: Jul 23, 2010 9:46 AM

    When does De Smith ever tell “the whole truth”?
    The guy does one interview with you and you back off on him. For instance, your last paragraph implies that both sides are at fault. But relatively speaking the NFL has generally kept their mouths shut. Smith, on the other hand, is waging a public relations war both for the benefit of the public and the players – which would be OK if he weren’t telling half the truth virtually the whole time.
    You can’t blame both sides for this when its only one side that’s guilty 90% of the time.

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