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Report: Agreement reached on rookie wage scale

S. Bradforddraft

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.

 

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52 Responses to “Report: Agreement reached on rookie wage scale”
  1. acerockefellar says: Mar 9, 2011 4:36 PM

    1 step closer

  2. coffinberry says: Mar 9, 2011 4:37 PM

    Lock n Loll!

  3. waitingguilty says: Mar 9, 2011 4:38 PM

    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?

  4. tonymission says: Mar 9, 2011 4:39 PM

    Big step IMO. I wonder what the actual details are.

    Times are changing.

  5. Mike Tomlin says: Mar 9, 2011 4:41 PM

    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

  6. wellthatsaloadofcrap says: Mar 9, 2011 4:41 PM

    Well, that one was kind of a no brainer to fix. Hopefully this will help them build up some momentum to fix the other issues, but that is probably wishful thinking.

  7. vietnambob2473 says: Mar 9, 2011 4:42 PM

    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.

  8. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 9, 2011 4:47 PM

    Another key part of the rookie wage scale is that if you perform like Justin Harrell, the team can take you out to the parking lot and beat your face in.

  9. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Mar 9, 2011 4:50 PM

    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.

  10. b1unt3d says: Mar 9, 2011 4:50 PM

    “JaMarcus Russell was guaranteed a record $29 million in his six-year $61 million deal..”

  11. marvin49 says: Mar 9, 2011 4:50 PM

    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.

  12. ruckinfidiculous says: Mar 9, 2011 4:51 PM

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

  13. myspaceyourface says: Mar 9, 2011 4:52 PM

    Joe Flacco. . . ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,

    Is that enough ha’s

  14. unclehilroy says: Mar 9, 2011 4:57 PM

    Also, the Union agreed that JaMarcus must give back the entirety of his contract.

  15. hobartbaker says: Mar 9, 2011 5:02 PM

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

  16. digd13 says: Mar 9, 2011 5:05 PM

    See what happens when the rooneys step in. They get S&!t done.

  17. awhite46 says: Mar 9, 2011 5:08 PM

    Know hope

  18. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 9, 2011 5:09 PM

    Cool to witness some NFL on the business side. Thing’s are looking up
    Just hope the owners and players don’t F the rest up!

  19. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Mar 9, 2011 5:10 PM

    That sure is a lot of money Jake Locker left on the table, even assuming he would be the #1 pick this year. And that he ain’t.

  20. We'reFineThere says: Mar 9, 2011 5:11 PM

    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.

  21. Kave Krew says: Mar 9, 2011 5:15 PM

    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.

  22. cmstrick says: Mar 9, 2011 5:19 PM

    ruckinfidiculous said: Mar 9, 2011 4:51 PM

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

    —————————————

    Baahaahahahahahahaha!!!

  23. chowtime888 says: Mar 9, 2011 5:24 PM

    are there still going to be supplemental draft picks? better bem cant screw the Panthers again

  24. sterling7 says: Mar 9, 2011 5:25 PM

    Not to worry, they’ll still make a whole lot more than I ever will!

  25. sbakernc says: Mar 9, 2011 5:25 PM

    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?

  26. 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!

  27. JSpicoli says: Mar 9, 2011 5:33 PM

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

    I’m betting over.

  28. trailerdawg says: Mar 9, 2011 5:34 PM

    This will have a huge effect on this years draft. This will open up some trade conversations with Carolina.

  29. stairwayto7 says: Mar 9, 2011 5:37 PM

    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!

  30. bunjy96 says: Mar 9, 2011 5:38 PM

    Why is no major sports website reporting this?

  31. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Mar 9, 2011 5:57 PM

    Well, that is good news, I guess.

  32. thespeaker08 says: Mar 9, 2011 5:58 PM

    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!

  33. riverhorsey says: Mar 9, 2011 6:08 PM

    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 ?

  34. marvin49 says: Mar 9, 2011 6:09 PM

    @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.

  35. gridassassin says: Mar 9, 2011 6:11 PM

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

  36. dragynj says: Mar 9, 2011 6:14 PM

    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.

  37. marvin49 says: Mar 9, 2011 6:23 PM

    @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.

  38. Matt Lechner says: Mar 9, 2011 6:24 PM

    And here’s the potential impact of a rookie wage scale on the upcoming NFL draft –> http://bit.ly/NEWCBA

  39. pettergriffen says: Mar 9, 2011 6:25 PM

    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

  40. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: Mar 9, 2011 6:30 PM

    The veterans throws the rooks under the bus. And this is news how?

  41. grandpoopah says: Mar 9, 2011 6:41 PM

    Kiss goodbye to $40 million guaranteed, Andrew Luck. What were you thinking?

  42. wcpatsfan says: Mar 9, 2011 6:41 PM

    Finally… the NFL did something that makes sense… feels good as a fan!

  43. grogansheroes says: Mar 9, 2011 6:52 PM

    thestrategyexpert

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

  44. dablackmoose says: Mar 9, 2011 7:21 PM

    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.

  45. moneymike23 says: Mar 9, 2011 7:31 PM

    “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?

  46. skoobyfl says: Mar 9, 2011 7:35 PM

    This was something that everyone knew needed to happen.

  47. marvin49 says: Mar 9, 2011 7:49 PM

    @grandpoopah

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

  48. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 9, 2011 9:29 PM

    @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.

  49. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 9, 2011 9:31 PM

    @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?

  50. raiderapologist says: Mar 9, 2011 10:03 PM

    Matt Lechner says: Mar 9, 2011 6:24 PM

    And here’s the potential impact of a rookie wage scale on the upcoming NFL draft –> http://bit.ly/NEWCBA
    —–
    I don’t know who wrote that article, but the word he was reaching for wasn’t “elude.”

  51. pwall1 says: Mar 10, 2011 2:12 AM

    If Joe Banner is involved, the first pick in the Draft might make league minimum.

  52. edgy says: Mar 10, 2011 1:38 PM

    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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