Report: Agreement reached on rookie wage scale

While the NFL and NFLPA wrangle over potentially crippling transparency issues, they have reportedly settled a smaller problem.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that the two sides have reached a compromise on a rookie wage scale.  The new plan will replace the current rookie salary cap and limit the amount of guaranteed money and signing bonuses available to draft picks.

Details on the guaranteed money available have yet to be revealed but here’s a few key points to the agreement.

1. Rookie first-round contracts will be limited to four years.  The owners backed off an original idea to require first-round picks signing for five years.

2. Players drafted after the first round will be limited to three-year contracts.   Players would be restricted free agents in the fourth year.  This isn’t much different from the current system, when the majority of picks after the first round wind up with three-year contracts.

It’s hard to evaluate the new system without knowing how much the high first round picks will make.  Cole reports the owners’ original offer for the No. 1 overall pick would have been a  five-year, $19 million contract.  Only $6 million was guaranteed.   (For comparison, Sam Bradford got $50 million guaranteed on a six-year deal last year.)

The owners eventually backed off such a drastic reduction, but we don’t know by how much.  Eagles president Joe Banner has been involved in the negotiations, according to Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The key concession from the union’s perspective is that first-round picks will hit free agency faster.  The good ones will ultimately be rewarded with a big second contract faster than under the old system.   (Just think of the leverage Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco would have now after three seasons.)

In the end, ballooning rookie deals was a big problem for the league that had to be corrected.

Now they just have to correct everything else.

 

52 responses to “Report: Agreement reached on rookie wage scale

  1. You guys are a piece of work.

    One post ago the negotiations are teetering on the brink of epic failure, and the next there is an agreement on a key issue.

    Keep up the great work! And by great work, I mean random guessing and being used as pawns by “inside sources”.

    Where are you getting your information? Did you plant someone on the catering team bringing in coffee to the meeting rooms?

  2. You could argue that choke artist Flacco would have LESS leverage than what hes making now, but I get the point on Matt Ryan.

    Either way, this is great news

  3. Finally some sort of fruit has come out of these seemingly stale negotiations. Now they need to get down to business and agree on a new CBA.

  4. This is welcome news. If I recall correctly, the players originally sought three-year rookie deals, and subsequently bought into four-year deals. The cost savings can be re-allocated to retired player benefits and players who outperform their contracts. Clearly, it’s a win-win scenario.

  5. It seems to me that its actually a victory for the union. The players are going to get the money regardless.

    The only difference is WHO gets the money…untested rookies or vets who have played themselves into a better contract. Those vets are the ones who have been paying their dues and should have a much bigger voice in the union.

    It also stops the 1st overall pick from being the albatross its been for several years and might create more trades within the top 10 picks of the draft. IE, more entertaining for us fans.

    It sounds alot like a win-win for both sides on this one.

  6. “Sideways Sam” Bradford displays the #1 jersey from the 2010 draft signifying “One very lucky s.o.b.”. The jersey will be discontinued.

  7. I think this the direction to go… but I think more players will leave teams if they see the light at the end of the tunnel. A player like Steven Jackson could more easily jump ship from a 4 year contract than a 6 year contract. All in all, this gives the Redskins more power.

  8. Great news.

    Unfortunately, this was the easiest of all the issues up for grabs.

    Hopefully the other issues can be hammered out more expediently in the next 7-10 days (expecting another extension) than the rookie wage scale.

  9. ruckinfidiculous said: Mar 9, 2011 4:51 PM

    Somewhere, Cam Newton’s dad is crying NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    —————————————

    Baahaahahahahahahaha!!!

  10. NON CBA RELATED POST ALERT-

    Aren’t there, like, 20 teams that would trade for Joe Flacco right now? How many human beings on earth are capable of playing the QB postion in the NFL competently? Less than half a dozen?

  11. OMG! They just need to correct everything else now???!?!!

    Umm, they also need to correct something called The Rookie Wage Scale!!

    This compromise is TERRIBLE! For one, 5 years to 4, is going to create a MESS of problems that I’m not even going to bother going into as it’s highly complicated and I’m sure many people will address those fears later, but that’s a BIG BIG problem for the game and the sport and the finances.

    Second, the amount of money guaranteed to players who will bust out is still a huge problem as guys that can’t hack it in this league will be taking too big of a slice of the money that could be better spent to pay the real players and/or go into the owners’ or league’s pockets! This is a travesty, and it shows that we are going to get a REALLY BAD deal for the rest of the new CBA.

    This is the saddest news in sports organization developments I have heard in my lifetime. I was REALLY REALLY hoping for a landmark change in the politics and wealth distribution as it would have been a great opportunity to strengthen the sport in so many wonderful ways that could then serve as an example for other sports and/or American businesses to follow suit and get things on track with financial justice and overall efficiency in these economies.

    OMG this is soooo SAD, and PFT should do a GIANT editorial on what this really means, but it’s bad, and terrifying sad. I can’t believe this is what’s happening. It’s all Goodell’s fault too, because he’s the leader and he needs to be strong and do the right thing, and he is INCOMPETENT and CLUELESS and has no idea what he is doing and what this all means. UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE!

  12. I wonder if you can bet the over/under on the length of the upcoming lockout.

    I’m betting over.

  13. 1 step closer? This was a back burner issue.
    We know when Friday rolls around, no new deal and 14 day extension will be granted then after that nothign will happen, and the “lockout” will really begin!

  14. To give proven people good payment and unproven people a chance to prove themselves to earn a good payment… Their idea is only 2000 years behind the curve!

  15. if true a big step towards getting an agreement.

    now get the 18 game season going with two preseason games and two bye weeks and we have a deal ?

  16. @thestrategyexpert

    Um…..what?

    If this is a surprise, you haven’t been paying attention. This is essentially whats been talked about for a long time.

    You are talking about players who bust out getting huge amounts of guaranteed money…but…um…thats what this entire thing is designed to PREVENT.

    The drop from 5 years to 4 years helps BOTH parties. It gives the players who succeed a chance to get to a bigger contract and it prevents the teams from strapping themselves with Salary Cap debt that would force them to release older players.

    As Jim Harbaugh would say, “what’s your deal”? I’m not trying to insult you, I just don’t understand what the hell you’re freaking out about.

  17. Well, the proof is in the pudding – we’ll know what’s going on when the next deadline hits.

  18. In the long run this hurts ESPN and the draft coverage. In 4yrs I’ll be more interested in Free Agency than the draft much like the late mid to early 90s. Who cares who my team drafts, who are they going to go out and sign for them to win NOW.

  19. @dragynj

    Why would it make the draft LESS interesting. It should make it much MORE interesting because the chances of trades at the top of the draft are much more likely.

    The astronomical cost of the #1 overall pick in recent years has made that pick all but untradeable. That albatross will now be gone and teams will be much more willing to trade up to get the player they want.

  20. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 9, 2011 5:27 PM

    OMG! They just need to correct everything else now???!?!!

    Umm, they also need to correct something called The Rookie Wage Scale!!

    This compromise is TERRIBLE! For one, 5 years to 4, is going to create a MESS of problems that I’m not even going to bother going into as it’s highly complicated and I’m sure many people will address those fears later, but that’s a BIG BIG problem for the game and the sport and the finances.

    Second, the amount of money guaranteed to players who will bust out is still a huge problem as guys that can’t hack it in this league will be taking too big of a slice of the money that could be better spent to pay the real players and/or go into the owners’ or league’s pockets! This is a travesty, and it shows that we are going to get a REALLY BAD deal for the rest of the new CBA.

    This is the saddest news in sports organization developments I have heard in my lifetime. I was REALLY REALLY hoping for a landmark change in the politics and wealth distribution as it would have been a great opportunity to strengthen the sport in so many wonderful ways that could then serve as an example for other sports and/or American businesses to follow suit and get things on track with financial justice and overall efficiency in these economies.

    OMG this is soooo SAD, and PFT should do a GIANT editorial on what this really means, but it’s bad, and terrifying sad. I can’t believe this is what’s happening. It’s all Goodell’s fault too, because he’s the leader and he needs to be strong and do the right thing, and he is INCOMPETENT and CLUELESS and has no idea what he is doing and what this all means. UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE!

    …………………………………………………..

    wtf is this guy talking about ??? you wrote all this jibberish but you wouldnt say why cause it would take too long?? omg what a frickin idiot

  21. thestrategyexpert

    ——————————–
    Let me guess, you have a poster of Obummer on your wall?

  22. I think with this new wage scale, your going to see more trades during the draft whenever they reach an agreement. You will see teams that really want that key guy will trade up because now it wont cost you an arm and a leg to land a top guy…I could see teams like the Ravens for example trading up to grab a guy like peterson…and when teams Screw up on a top five pick it wont hold them back like the niners sticking with Alex Smith for all these years. I think it will make the NFL so much better.

  23. “Just think of the leverage Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco would have now after three seasons.”
    ———————————————————
    Doesn’t Ryan or ready have a $70 million contract?

  24. @grandpoopah

    These rules will hit this year, so Luck would never have gotten the money anyway.

  25. @Petergriffen

    Uhhh, excuse me but I’m not going to write an entire article that gets buried in the comments section. That’s the job of PFT writers to make a full article on the subject. I dont have a blog or a place to put such an article or have a way to get it published, and my journalistic endeavors aren’t going to be devoted to being a sideshow on comment lines on somebody else’s site, what would you have me do? You want to commission me and pay me to write a brilliant article explaining it? Then make an offer if you’d like and I’ll consider it. My time is very valuable to me however.

  26. @marvin49

    Uh yeah it lowers the amount that goes to busts, but not by enough, busts are still going to walk away with big dollars, I said that, that’s clear, what don’t you understand?

  27. Do you guys think that these teams are releasing veterans because of their overpriced rookies? Seriously, they’ve been doing it since the dawn of the pro football era and it won’t change. Roughly 20 or more players on any team won’t be asked back every year and that was the same way it was even before there was a salary cap. The guys that end up getting cut are the veterans and most of them aren’t cap casualties as much as they’re performance casualties.

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