There’s a Baby Ruth in the NFL’s rookie pool.
Yes, at a time when everyone connected to football is making more and more money, the incoming class of players could be making less.
Per a league source, it’s currently believed that the rookie pool will drop in 2012.
The problem, as the source explained it, comes from the original calculations that would have put this year’s salary cap as low as $113 million per team. When the NFL and NFLPA agreed to bump the 2012 cap to $120.6 million per team, the NFL and the NFLPA didn’t include within the agreement the rookie pool.
Last year’s rookie pool was based on a per-team cap of $120.375 million.
A rookie pool has existed since 1993. In 2011, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a real rookie wage scale, which dramatically reduced the money to be paid to the players at the top of the draft.
In 2011, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton signed a four-year, $22 million contract. The team has an option for the fifth year at a salary equal to the average of the five highest-paid players at the quarterback position. In 2010, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford signed a six-year, $78 million deal.
This year, the likes of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will make even less on their first contracts.
It’s apparently a new kind of hazing. They’d surely prefer getting their heads shaved or being taped to the goalpost.