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Negotiation with potential first overall picks is a thing of the past

Joeckel Getty Images

When the NFL adopted a true rookie wage scale as part of the 2011 labor deal, the league saw huge-money windfalls to high draft picks go the way of the dodo bird, 8-track tapes, and my real hair.

Those huge contracts that previously were paid out to players in the top 10 entailed significant gaps from pick to pick, creating an incentive for the team with the first overall selection to launch negotiations with multiple players in the hopes of leveraging one against the other for the privilege of being taken No. 1 overall in the draft.

Though it rarely worked, teams tried it.  Now that there’s a true rookie wage scale, teams aren’t even trying.

As mentioned on Twitter (and then as I forgot to post here), the Chiefs hadn’t as of Monday tried to sign either left tackle Luke Joeckel or left tackle Eric Fisher to a contract.  Per multiple sources, they still haven’t as of Tuesday.  Instead, the Chiefs most likely will pick one or the other (most think it will be Joeckel), and then deal with the contract later.

That’s what the Colts did last year with quarterback Andrew Luck, announcing two days before the draft that he’d be the pick.  Though he was signed in time for training camp, things got a little dicey over issues relating to marketing rights.

For the Chiefs, the far bigger question is to get the better player; with so few topics on which to negotiate, the difference in possible deals simply doesn’t matter.

Moving forward, look for the team with the top pick to shy away from contract negotiations with a possible first overall pick.  It adds little or nothing, and it merely consumes resources unnecessarily.

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10 Responses to “Negotiation with potential first overall picks is a thing of the past”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 23, 2013 1:06 PM

    It’s still a privilege that KC can enjoy that applies to no other team. And it’s an opportunity for them to pick up a bonus score. I think they should explore the option and start the negotiation talks immediately if they haven’t already. They should be able to find a way to allocate some time and effort towards this without it hampering the organization. There are lots of advantages to starting this discussion now, and the Chiefs are nuts if they don’t do this and try to secure an additional benefit/advantage for their team.

  2. melkipershero says: Apr 23, 2013 1:06 PM

    4 years 22-24 million. That is the going rate at #1.

  3. smartstickhotness says: Apr 23, 2013 1:15 PM

    As a Chiefs fan it completely sucks they are about to waste our first #1 overall pick on Joeckel. Von Miller will “beat him like a drum” twice a year.

    Continued mediocrity at best.

    sad day for Chiefs fans

  4. aurelh23 says: Apr 23, 2013 1:17 PM

    They did it to pit players against each other to be the number 1 pick? Thats ignorant. It was smart for teams that did it before so they can try to get teams below them to trade up to their pick! Nothing to do with players against players. Most front office people with #1 pick know who they want.

    They play these games to try to force a team to trade up.

  5. bdawks20 says: Apr 23, 2013 1:18 PM

    Good, I hate knowing who the first 5 picks are before the draft. It takes away from the entertainment value.

  6. rodgersrodgersheisking says: Apr 23, 2013 1:19 PM

    Unless they want to trade down

  7. r8rsfan says: Apr 23, 2013 1:35 PM

    For all the talk of teams tanking for the #1 pick, etc. it sure seems like a burden to have it.

  8. liltifer says: Apr 23, 2013 2:36 PM

    “For all the talk of teams tanking for the #1 pick, etc. it sure seems like a burden to have it.”

    It’s a burden because it means you sucked last year. But there is no burden like a few short years ago when #1 made mind-boggling amounts of money.

  9. competitivecompetitioncompeter says: Apr 23, 2013 2:44 PM

    That is one seriously unflattering pic.

    Who runs Bartertown? MasterBlaster runs Bartertown!

  10. corporate1raider says: Apr 23, 2013 3:19 PM

    Alex Smith’s left side potentially well protected?

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