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A simple solution to the rookie scale stalemate

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By all accounts and appearances, the rookie wage scale remains the biggest issue that currently is preventing the NFL and the players from striking a deal.  The stalemate arises in part from the league’s insistence that teams should be permitted to sign first-round picks for up to five years, and from a proposed schedule at the top of the draft that would pay Panthers quarterback Cam Newton only $34 million over five years.  (We’ve actually heard the base deal will be as low as $25 million over five years.)

The league has dug in, in large part because the league surely believes that the players eventually will cave.  And it’s easy to argue that they should.  The ability to sign first-round picks for up to five years doesn’t mean that they all will sign five-year deals.  The same dynamic that has resulted in teams holding the first few picks grossly overpaying in the hopes of getting the players into camp will get those teams to agree to four-year contracts, if that’s what it takes to get the top picks signed.

But to the extent that a compromise is needed, here’s an idea that’s currently making the rounds.  For first-round picks, the contracts would have a three-year base term.  After the third season, the teams could then pick up an option for one more year, at a predetermined level of compensation based on performance.  Alternatively, teams could pick up two more years, at a much higher rate of pay.  (If the player has been a bust, the team can at that point simply walk away.)  The terms of the fourth-year and fifth-year options would be subject to negotiation, with hard ceilings on the most that could be paid.

Then again, why does there need to be a hard ceiling on what a player would be paid in years four and five?  If the first overall pick is on track for the Hall of Fame after three NFL seasons, why should his pay in years four and five be artificially restricted?

This gets back to a point we’ve been making for weeks.  The league seems to be crafting proposals that go beyond merely solving the problem of paying windfalls to players who ultimately do nothing to earn their money.  At some point before the first-round picks spend five years in the league, we’ll all know whether they deserve big money.  Thus, the league should not insist on locking those first-round picks up for five full years at a level of pay that doesn’t compensate great play.

In this regard, the league is banking on the possibility that the growing sense of inevitability will eventually prompt enough of the players to say, “Screw it.  It only affects a handful of players, none of whom are me.”  But if the league is truly concerned about a win-win deal that is fair to everyone over the long term, the league will uncross its arms and think of creative ways to prevent Cam Newton from becoming the next JaMarcus Russell without punishing Newton if he becomes the next Peyton Manning.

Until that happens, blame the league for the current state of the talks.

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67 Responses to “A simple solution to the rookie scale stalemate”
  1. sdboltaction says: Jul 11, 2011 1:48 PM

    I’m still holding both sides responsible for this being drug out. It’s both their faults.

  2. superbengalfan says: Jul 11, 2011 1:51 PM

    “Until that happens, blame the league for the current state of the talks.”

    Cue the complaints from those who oddly view this site but don’t care about seeing a football season, only that the owner’s “win”.

  3. thephantomstranger says: Jul 11, 2011 1:54 PM

    Uhhh…could you repeat the part of the stuff where you said all about the…things? Whatever. Just get it done.

  4. nflsucker says: Jul 11, 2011 1:55 PM

    Institute what will be called the “Jamar-clause” (alternative name is the Gholston-gotcha), which states that if a player gets voted after three years as a useless turd-bust by 75% of a committee consisting of players and sportswriters, then 80% of that player’s signing bonus (held in escrow, earning interest) gets returned to the owners or funds retirement health care for veterans.

  5. tomsd1 says: Jul 11, 2011 1:55 PM

    Who says the owners have to compromise?

    They hold the power and can survive for a while if there no games, whereas 95% of the players live from paycheck to paycheck.

  6. riverhorsey says: Jul 11, 2011 1:55 PM

    get it done. The vast majority believes rookies are way overpaid.

  7. citizenstrange says: Jul 11, 2011 1:55 PM

    A simple solution to the rookie scale stalemate

    Or should I say rookie “scalemate?”

    And you’re welcome.

  8. spikeit2times says: Jul 11, 2011 1:58 PM

    Before casting your typical player support (and owner blame), perhaps you could act like a real journalist and maybe apply the league’s point of view to the last few years of the NFL draft and find out exactly what the ratio is. How many “STAR” players would have actually been hurt by this if applied to the last 5 draft classes?

  9. rpiotr01 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:00 PM

    When I first read the title of this article I expected it to be something about eating babies.

  10. deegizzle says: Jul 11, 2011 2:03 PM

    I say give them all 3 year deals and at the end of the 3 years, they become exclusive rights free agents via a 1-year qualifying tender based on their exact draft slot and performance (maybe use a formula similar to the compensatory pay).

    At this point, teams can either give them a tender and risk losing them after year 4, or offer them their big pay day right then and there.

  11. bpjensen says: Jul 11, 2011 2:06 PM

    I am not sure why the owner’s are so adamant about the 5 years. First, as mentioned, the team will know well before 5 years wether the player is good or not. If the player is that good, they will probably not play that 5th year under the rookie contract without a renegotiation. If they are bad, the team will have probably already cut them before the 5th year.

    This really seems to have been made into a much bigger sticking point than it needs to be. The players have apparently already conceded on the value of the contracts and I have not yet seen one mention of the owners giving up anything in the draft.

  12. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jul 11, 2011 2:10 PM

    superbengalfan says: Jul 11, 2011 1:51 PM

    “Until that happens, blame the league for the current state of the talks.”

    Cue the complaints from those who oddly view this site but don’t care about seeing a football season, only that the owner’s “win”.
    ——————————————————

    This is typical bias that has gone on throughout the process from this site. I think that if someone actually went back and looked at all of the draft picks that would fall into this category you would find that the teams have been on the short end of the sticks . As a result they are going to try to prevent themselves from getting burned in the future.

    If this site wasn’t biased then it simply could have done a little investigative research to see why the owners are pushing so hard for this. Instead it is far easier to say “blame the owners” and get us fired up. Beating the same drum that has been beaten for months now.

    I will take the intelligent and non-biased approach and say that the fault lies somewhere in the middle. I am sure the owners probably gave up something big that hasn’t been leaked yet and as a result want something big in return, like this.

  13. turgidsen says: Jul 11, 2011 2:11 PM

    spikeit2times says:
    Jul 11, 2011 1:58 PM
    Before casting your typical player support (and owner blame), perhaps you could act like a real journalist and maybe apply the league’s point of view to the last few years of the NFL draft and find out exactly what the ratio is. How many “STAR” players would have actually been hurt by this if applied to the last 5 draft classes?

    _______________________________________________________

    Before commenting on an article maybe you should read it.

  14. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:13 PM

    I wish I were in DeMaurice Smith’s position. If I were:

    1. I would remind the owners that the players accepting any salary cap is a major concession on their part.

    2. I would remind the owners that the players accepting an entry draft is a major concession on their part.

    3. 1. I would remind the owners that the players accepting a rookie wage scale is a major concession on their part.

    If I were Smith I’d push for three years, with all players having the opportunity for unrestricted free agency after the third year. I suppose I’d compromise and allow four, but an insistence on five would have me walking away from the table and back to the courtroom where I’d fight to get rid of the cap and the draft.

    The message would be clear to the owners- enough is enough.

  15. nfl25 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:15 PM

    I was without a doubt on the owners side. But at this point there is no reason to be on anyone’s side. They are negotiating and the players gave up some stuff. So now I am not on anyone’s side.

    But now I am think the owners figure we are so close to a deal why not just try to squeeze a little extra out. Figuring the players will just feel they are so close and just agree. I never wanted the owners to win, I wanted football to win, that’s the only thing me and the owners had in common.

    I agree with what PFT is saying here

  16. mrmilstead says: Jul 11, 2011 2:16 PM

    Seems like the NFLPA cares more about the guys how haven’t played a down than it does its retired legends….

  17. lucky5934 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:19 PM

    I agree with Deegizzle. The owners are not thinking straight here. A solid 3 year deal with a 4th year option is in their best interest as well. Sure they want that 5th year, but that only benefits the few first round picks that will maintain the level play associated with that contract. Most of the first rounds picks will either be busts (and the owners will not want to pay for that 5th year anyway) or will outplay that contract. In which time, those player’s agents will encourage their player to hold out in year 4 or 5 anyway to secure a better deal. The possibility of many of those contracts seeing a 5th year is unlikely at best. Because in the end, most owners/front offices don’t draft well enough on a consistent basis to fussing about a 5th year of a rookie contract. Be happy that the money is significantly lower and let’s set our sights on the finish line of this labor mess.

  18. xstaticonradio says: Jul 11, 2011 2:20 PM

    Man I don’t know how Cam Newton is gonna live on only 34 million dollars

  19. cured76 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:20 PM

    I feel good about this. If the big issues between the players and the league have been solved and the rookie wage scale issue isn’t about how much they should be paid but length of contracts and other small minutiae, I’d say we are very close to getting a deal that will keep the league going strong for years to come.

    If you want to see a real bloodbath, just wait till the NBA negotiations start.

  20. PFTiswhatitis says: Jul 11, 2011 2:21 PM

    Holy crap I agree with you again!

  21. brutus9448 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:26 PM

    its both their faults. The fans paying the price. College football is where its at next year.

  22. dmac26 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:29 PM

    You mean, the next JaMarcus Russell or the next Michael Vick.

  23. micronin127 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:30 PM

    Every owner wants to think that they are brilliant and that they will always make brilliant decisions… and the reward for picking an All-Pro in the first round is that you get 5 years at way below market for the production.

    The truth, if you look at any of the recent drafts, is that there are roughly equal numbers of busts and steals. The top 5 picks generally are special players.

    Picks 6-10 you would think would all be ‘cannot miss’, but surprisingly this group is a 50/50 proposition.

    By insisting on 5 years with slotted amounts, the problem of overpaying busts isn’t eliminated. You’ll still end up with Vernon Gholston. Even though everbody thinks they are so brilliant and will always pick Logan Mankins or Devin McCourty.

    And the reward they want is a 5th year at far below market rate.

    So while they say, they don’t mind paying for talent, and this is all about shifting the outrageous guaranteed money from unproven rookies to proven veterans. They really want the ability to ‘hit the lottery’ too. Just saying that not all lottery tickets are winners.

  24. chc4 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:32 PM

    What world do you live in? The league, just like the NFLPA*, can insist on anything they want. It’s all part of the negotiation. If the two sides have solved the % of total revenue that the players will receive what does it matter whhich players get it? Whatever those 4 & 5 year don’t receive will go to 6+ year vets. Ain’t hard to figure that out.

  25. 8drinkminimum says: Jul 11, 2011 2:33 PM

    @tommyF15

    And the owners would remind you that:

    1) There has been and will be a cap in place.

    2) There has been and will be a draft.

    3) If you don’t like it start your own league.

    The NFL was and still is built on compettitve balance. Neither owners or most fans want it to change.

    But hey you and Duane Thomes (if you aren’t both guys) can always wish for what will never happen.

  26. knightringonow says: Jul 11, 2011 2:33 PM

    “…that said,STILL NO AGREEMENT…

  27. dolphins1121 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:41 PM

    NFL owners and players say that the deal should be finalized and signed according to ESPN!

  28. dolphins1121 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:44 PM

    On July 21st

  29. johnnycamparm says: Jul 11, 2011 2:50 PM

    superbengalfan says: Jul 11, 2011 1:51 PM

    “Until that happens, blame the league for the current state of the talks.”

    Cue the complaints from those who oddly view this site but don’t care about seeing a football season, only that the owner’s “win”.
    ————————————————————-
    From here on out, I am automatically giving a thumbs down to anyone who starts their message with “Cue”… That and anyone who has “bengals” in their name…

  30. mathsimillion says: Jul 11, 2011 2:54 PM

    Anyone know where I can get a job right out of college making $25,000,000.00 or more over 5 years?

    Didn’t think so.

  31. 3crowns says: Jul 11, 2011 2:56 PM

    This is pure idiocy from the owners. They are getting a reduction in cap, all they are arguing about here is how they’re divvying up player salaries. It has zero impact on their bottom line. Paying more or less ton a rookie contract just means paying less or more on a veteran one. Rather than trying to get the upside of keeping a rookie at below-market rates, they should just agree to 3-4 year rookie contracts and be happy they’re not going to lose as much on a bust.

  32. gdpont says: Jul 11, 2011 2:58 PM

    Why waste time with a rookie wage scale when the simplest solution is to get rid of the draft and impose a hard rookie salary cap combined with a maximum of 4 years on initial player contracts. The draft as it has existed actually forces teams to overpay for rookies because they don’t have a back-up option. If Carolina doesn’t sign Cam Newton, they have wasted a draft pick. If there were no draft, Carolina could negotiate with multiple quarterbacks. Even though the team was bad last season, Carolina would be attractive to highly rated QB’s because they have something that the Pats, Colts, Giants, Chargers, Falcons, Lions, Rams, Steelers, etc. don’t have – PLAYING TIME. In many ways eliminating the draft will create a situation somewhat similar to when these star players were being recruited by colleges. Players want to play and are more likely to go somewhere where they can play right away. Because there are only so many starting jobs available in the NFL, Cam Newton would not attractive to teams that have established starting QB’s and would not be willing to pay the same amount that Carolina, Arizona, Seattle, etc. would pay for a potential star QB. More money and playing time would keep the competitive balance that the NFL try’s to get through the draft. If there are real concerns about balance, the league could give the weaker teams more cap space for rookies for a period of time. The shorter lengths of contracts would also limit the bonuses because the teams could not spread them over an artificially long period of time like they do now.

    The NFL owners are all about centralized control of everything relating to their business, just like the old Soviet Union. The NFL draft has outlived its usefulness and its time to put it alongside the Soviet Union, in the dumpster of history. In it’s place, let’s bring eBay to the NFL.

  33. ICDogg says: Jul 11, 2011 3:02 PM

    When you’re talking about 5 year deals it’s not just talking about a “rookie” scale, but a scale that can affect 5th year players. Let’s say that top players on average play 10 years in the NFL. That means they are halfway through their careers before they can get a contract not constrained by a “rookie scale”.

  34. rugdog100 says: Jul 11, 2011 3:03 PM

    Lawyers are not interested in simple solutions. They need to drag it out as long as possible – the longer it takes the more they get paid. Lawyers have no place in this negotiation. Expediting the process is not in their best interest. Pay them a flat fee, not by the hour. Then see how long this takes.

  35. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 3:05 PM

    8drinkminimum says:
    And the owners would remind you that:
    1) There has been and will be a cap in place.
    2) There has been and will be a draft.
    3) If you don’t like it start your own league.

    To which I would respond, “see you in court”.

    The NFL was and still is built on compettitve balance. Neither owners or most fans want it to change.

    I know, from a competitive balance standpoint, the NFL is perfect. That’s why the Bills haven’t had a winning season since 1999 and the Lions haven’t had one since 1995.

    Oh, wait- looks like it really isn’t competitive balance that the NFL is built on and somehow people liked it in the 70′s when the Steelers always won and in the 80′s when the Niners always won.

    Here’s the problem- fans fall for the “competitive balance” trick every time the owners want something.

    But I’ll approach this with an open mind: how, exactly, does a team controlling a player for the first five years of his career at less than market value make the NFL more competitive?

    Help me out here.

  36. freedomispopular says: Jul 11, 2011 3:09 PM

    $34 million over 5 years is still too much. Start them at the minimum, like in any other profession, and make them earn their way to the top.

  37. preludetosmack says: Jul 11, 2011 3:11 PM

    Easy solution.

    In exchange for the owners caving to 3 year base with a 4th year option (versus requested 5 year base no option), players concede that any player that is under contract and holds-out be subject to treble damages plus forfeiture & refund of signing bonuses (which are present compensation for future services).

    Also, all bonus monies are classified as present compensation for future services (signing bonuses, roster bonuses, etc).

    Basically undo the travesty that was the Mike Vick bonus lawsuit, get rid of players holding out, and get the union what they stupidly are asking for on rookies.

    Win for the owners, win for the rookies, exactly what the players are asking for.

  38. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 3:11 PM

    mathsimillion says:
    Anyone know where I can get a job right out of college making $25,000,000.00 or more over 5 years?

    The NFL, NHL, NBA, or MLB.

    What’s stopping you? Go grab that contract now.

    What’s the problem? Don’t you want it?

    Seriously, GO! Let those leagues know that you’re available for that price.

  39. preludetosmack says: Jul 11, 2011 3:17 PM

    Also, for the 4th year option in my scenario, the pay rate would be the average salary of all 32 starters at the draft pick’s position.

    That way they’re getting ‘market value’ for their position.

  40. blackbeardk says: Jul 11, 2011 3:20 PM

    The solution is to only include the first 10 picks in the cap and make the contracts for 5 years. But the rookie cap needs to be a lot higher than the owners have proposed closer to the 70 million they are currently getting rather than half that which the owners are proposing. Lets just say first pick $50 million for 5 years with a scale down to the 10th pick at $30 million with increases every year.

  41. capslockkey says: Jul 11, 2011 3:21 PM

    I don’t see what the big hang up is about allowing 5 year deals. As long as a player’s agent is allowed to negotiate for a 4 year deal, who gives a crap what the maximum is? Even if that isn’t the case, any rookie who blows up and outplays his rookie contract will most likely get a new deal before their 5 years is up or else they’ll holdout a la Chris Johnson forcing the team’s hand.

  42. weneedlinemen42 says: Jul 11, 2011 3:22 PM

    I’ve been on the owner’s side throughout but this is one issue where the owners need to back down.

    There is a huge need to get rid of the massive and totally unearned contracts paid out in the top half of the first round but the owners need to make some concessions in return.

    The rookie wage scale cannot just be about ensuring that draft supplys a source of relatively cheap labour. The new wage structure needs to be about ensuring that the best players receive the highest pay.

    So cap rookie signing bonuses and pay by all means, but you cannot tie them into long term contracts at the same time.

  43. harmcityhomer says: Jul 11, 2011 3:27 PM

    There was already a system to limit rookie earnings, and no one forced the Raiders to draft Russell or sign him for 5 or 6 years. All they had to do to retain his rights until the next draft was tender him a 1 year offer. Or they could have just drafted Megatron or Joe Thomas and no one would be claiming they are currently over paid.

    There is no rule that forces teams to offer so much guaranteed money to the top 10 picks. Why does the NFL need to implement a “rookie salary scale” instead of some simple self control or tougher negotiations. Trade the pick fi you do not want to pay them, or let them sit out a year and get drafted again.

    The system is not broken, Al Davis just does not know what to do with top 10 picks. Hire a good GM and the draft is a lot more reward than risk.

  44. zerored78 says: Jul 11, 2011 3:30 PM

    Rookies are overpaid. As a compromise to putting in a scale, the teams should be forced to sign shorter contracts that require the team to cut the player or pay them their market value. Seems like a no-brainer to me. The owners are getting way too greedy both trying to limit wages and hold on to players at those wages for 5 years.

  45. goawayeverybody says: Jul 11, 2011 3:30 PM

    Why are the owners so fearful of the ‘free market’ they allegedly espouse?

  46. goawayeverybody says: Jul 11, 2011 3:32 PM

    The owners are like “we don’t want to take a risk on a rookie that goes bad but if they turn out fantastic we’d like to lock them in for cheap!”

    Stupid stupid stupid.

  47. goawayeverybody says: Jul 11, 2011 3:34 PM

    The NFL is a microcosm of the world of politics. The rich owners trick people into rooting against their own economic interest.

  48. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 3:35 PM

    freedomispopular says:
    Start them at the minimum, like in any other profession, and make them earn their way to the top.

    Every other profession starts new employees at the minimum?

    That’s provably false.

  49. goawayeverybody says: Jul 11, 2011 3:36 PM

    Hey freedomispopular, if you’re so concerned about ‘freedom’ why not let the market decide and just allow the owners to pay whatever they want?

  50. kirkmcguirk says: Jul 11, 2011 3:43 PM

    micronin127 says: Jul 11, 2011 2:30 PM

    The truth, if you look at any of the recent drafts, is that there are roughly equal numbers of busts and steals.

    ——————————

    This is pure and utter nonsense.

    Stating that 16 players chosen in the first round in the last two NFL Draft are “Busts” after only a year or two in the league is ridiculous.

    Defensive lineman typically take at least two years to mature and play at a high level, along with wide receivers and especially quarterbacks.

    Russell and Gholston are two obvious “Busts” but it’s extremely rare that a first round draft choice is out of the league after a year or two.

  51. airraid77 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:02 PM

    if the players are so concerned with market value? then why unionize? The cap actually benefits the players more than the owners…….but you have to have thinking that actually starts to get around on that. their would be no nfl if the baseball system was applied to the NFL… it would be the giants jets, cowboys and redskins every single year for the superbowl…No such thing as the arizona diamond backs…..NO one player will over come the overwhelming talent on the otherside as in baseball or basketball.

    we have glenn beck on the other side of the political landscape hosting this sight…to bad he doesnt understand that if his side wins, his freedom of the press will be gone….as our host.

    I think the NBA players have it, go play overseas….I dare you….. and permanantly….the player much to many of your dismay are owed not a single thing.

  52. 8drinkminimum says: Jul 11, 2011 4:26 PM

    Using the draft to build teams has been succesful and does help create competitive balance.

    That said it still takes front office talent and good coaching to bring players and the team along.

    Using Buffalo, Detroit etc to show the lack of competitive balance is useless.

    You pull the draft and the bottom feeders (for whatever success they lack) will never get a crack at the difference makers without a draft.

    Going with four or five year contracts allows for exclusive development by the club as part of their initial investment. It helps maintain marketplace order. Remember there is serious money tied up in these rookies.

    So Tommy see you in court? It will never get there. Owners own and players play. There will be no alternative NFL, a players league or players owning a team.

    You don’t want a draft? Well it’s your opinion against four leagues that do and will way into the future.

    The NFL isn’t perfect but your sarcasm sure is juvenile.

    Absent that go have your

  53. preludetosmack says: Jul 11, 2011 4:31 PM

    So saying:

    “Stating that 16 players chosen in the first round in the last two NFL Draft are “Busts” after only a year or two in the league is ridiculous.

    Defensive lineman typically take at least two years to mature and play at a high level, along with wide receivers and especially quarterbacks.”

    is EXACTLY why owners want to lock the players up for 5 years.

    2 years of that is spent maturing. During those 2 years you are not getting what you are paying for… 3 years HOPEFULLY are offsetting the 2 years you are paying someone more than their skills/production dictate.

  54. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:43 PM

    “(We’ve actually heard the base deal will be as low as $25 million over five years.)”

    Here’s a good example of the underlying problem; this salary – 5MILLION dollars per year for 5yrs – is “low.”

  55. demolition510 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:44 PM

    If it’s 5 yrs, what’s to stop a player from holding out? Unless there’s something built it that fines them large $$$$$

  56. jdmp86 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:47 PM

    There’s some thing wrong with this still “that would pay Panthers quarterback Cam Newton only $34 million over five years.”

    I believe it’s the word ONLY!

  57. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 4:48 PM

    8drinkminimum says:
    Using the draft to build teams has been succesful and does help create competitive balance.

    Neither of us know if that’s true.

    One might say that the draft helps create competitive balance since, theoretically, the best player went to the best team. The counter argument is that the draft prevents the worst team from acquiring more than one of the top 32 players entering the league. Without the draft the Panthers could have signed Cam Newton AND Marcell Dareus, but since there is a draft they couldn’t.

    Right?

    My original point stand- the draft and the cap are concessions made by the players. The owners are going for yet another concession with a wage scale, and are being flat-out ridiculous by taking the next step and asking to control the first five years of a player’s career.

  58. Sayre Bedinger says: Jul 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    This is pretty much the rules they have in the NBA, only the team option comes after the second year of the rookie’s contract.

  59. dave20109 says: Jul 11, 2011 5:03 PM

    This blog has taken a decidedly pro player slant recently. Why are the owners to blame for a stalemate?

    While I personally think a four year plan is better than a five, my guess is both sides are being less than accommodating to the other. They are equally to blame for this mess.

    I like your blog. Until recently I believed you when you said you were neutral in this fight. I don’t think you are anymore.

  60. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 5:08 PM

    dave20109 says:
    This blog has taken a decidedly pro player slant recently. Why are the owners to blame for a stalemate?

    The stalemate wouldn’t exist had the owners not opted out of the CBA, and then planned and executed a lockout.

  61. jakek2 says: Jul 11, 2011 5:26 PM

    5 year contracts when the average career length is less than that equals SLAVERY, indentured servitude, restraint from trade, call it what you want.

  62. gdpont says: Jul 11, 2011 5:30 PM

    If the rookie wage scale goes too low, in a few years elite athletes will concentrate on other sports like soccer where the big money is.

  63. kqole25 says: Jul 11, 2011 6:04 PM

    The rookie pay scale is a joke! It’s the only profession I know where an employee can get paid more than someone who has busted his a$$ and proven he has earned it.

    Earn your millions, don’t just expect it!

    Cam Newton has 1 good season in college and could get 25 million??? Does that sound right?

  64. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 6:31 PM

    kqole25 says:
    The rookie pay scale is a joke! It’s the only profession I know where an employee can get paid more than someone who has busted his a$$ and proven he has earned it.

    No offense, but this is just plain wrong. Not to be boastful, but I got some pretty darn good offers in the working world as soon as I earned my Master’s Degree. So did many other people.

    Cam Newton has 1 good season in college and could get 25 million??? Does that sound right?

    Actually it does. The Panthers could have had any player in the 2011 Draft, including a player that had four good seasons. But Newton was the guy they wanted, and he actually had an outstanding season at Blinn Community College before transferring to Auburn.

    I actually like the idea of a rookie wage scale as long as:

    1. The money the owners save on rookies gets spent on veterans.

    2. The players get to hit a free market after a reasonable period of time- and five years isn’t reasonable! :)

  65. aclassyguyfromaclassytown says: Jul 11, 2011 6:34 PM

    It’s been the Owners fighting to stop football, and the players fighting to keep football going. I’ve blamed the owners this whole time, as any logical person should. If You and I decide to start a business as partners, and then you ask me after a couple of years to show me how much we make after I’ve just given you a check, but I refuse to show you how much we’ve made, is that not wrong of me as your partner to withold that information from you? Don’t you have a right to see OUR books and financial records? Jerry Richardson talks about how he got the short end of the stick as a player, and that now that he’s an owner, he shouldn’t get the short end of the stick again. Not all players make millions show me one owner who doesn’t. It’s mostly the middle class that pays for the apperal, the tickets, and all that goes into paying the owners, cause most fans are middle class individuals. The middle class are for the most part employees, not employers. As an employee, I can see the side of the player wanting to be treated fairly, even though players and owners are supposed to be partners. Jerks like Richardson get a little too greedy and the fans suffer. This is the only time I’ve posted anything on this NFL blog, or even read anything on it since the lockout began, and it will be the last on both accounts until it’s over. If we lose any regular season games over their greed, the owners can be sure that they’ll have one last fan to pay for their sport to remain popular, and I know I’m not alone on that feeling. Aslo, it’s time for some enw judges in the 8th circuit court. Players should make sure to have the locals that way get out and vote for people who’s opinions won’t be bought. Till then, I have no problem devoting my fanhood to Hockey and Baseball.

  66. db3300 says: Jul 11, 2011 7:31 PM

    ‘ Cue the complaints from those who oddly view this site but don’t care about seeing a football season, only that the owner’s “win”. ‘

    I come to this site because I live and breath the game. I also want the owners to “win” because I’m tired of seeing half-ass busts who make too much money and push older, more talented players out of the league. I also won’t lose any sleep if there isn’t a season because I have other things to fill my time with.

    If more fans had this attitude, both sides would be more anxious to get a deal done. Baseball has still not recovered from the fans’ apathy over the 1994 strike. The NFL and NFLPA both know you aren’t going anywhere so they feel free to yank you around as long as they need to meet their needs. Your needs are none of their concern.

  67. tommyf15 says: Jul 11, 2011 8:40 PM

    db3300 says:
    Baseball has still not recovered from the fans’ apathy over the 1994 strike.

    Wrong. You may want this to be true, but it just isn’t.

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