Foxworth opposes a rookie wage scale

Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, regarded by many as the likely heir to Kevin Mawae as NFLPA president, made a couple of solid points in a recent interview with reporters.

But he also swung and missed on one very important point.

On the issue of the adoption of a rookie wage scale, something the league, many veteran players, and the fans believe to be a critical aspect of the next labor deal, Foxworth prefers the status quo.

“As far as a wage scale is concerned, it’s not something
that I support,” Foxworth said, as transcribed by Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times.  “This is a pay-by-potential league.  If guys got paid
off what they did on the field, then guys like Tim Brown would have
made a lot more money.  If the team believes in rookies’ potential,
then that’s what they should get paid.  It’s kind of an unfair
concept to change the way the league works now for those young guys
just because they’re young guys and can’t defend themselves because
they’re not in the league yet.”

But then Foxworth undermined his own position, admitting that the union would be willing to change the “pay-for-potential” model if the veterans would get all of the money that would be saved.  Foxworth failed to mention that the union also insisted on a three-year path to free agency and no franchise tags or restricted free agency tenders.

“I think players should get paid on potential,” Foxworth reiterated.  “The onus
falls on General Managers to make the right decisions on draft
picks.  They get steals in many cases.”

He’s right on the last point — the teams do get steals.  And the system not only should prevent the JaMarcus Russells of the world from getting millions for failing to realize even 1/100th of his potential, but it also should reward the players like Titans running back Chris Johnson and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, who become great players despite being picked later in the process.  (More on that later today.)

Either way, Foxworth comes off as grossly out of touch on this issue.  Fans don’t want their teams to continue to pay player based on potential.  They want them to pay for performance.  And if the union pushes the “pay-for-potential” argument too hard, they’ll alienate the people they need in their corner the most — the paying customers, who happen to double as the constituents of the politicians whom the NFLPA already is actively courting.

28 responses to “Foxworth opposes a rookie wage scale

  1. It’s reality check time for the players and the owner will prove their point by locking them out. You can book it.

  2. After agreement on performance standards, players could be paid bonuses at the end of the season depending on their performance during the season. This would be funded by some percentage of total revenue.

  3. People should be paid for what they achieve not their potential. Giving a rookie the big bucks only puts a lot of pressure on him, some will respond but many will fail until they mature.

  4. The extra money should be going to the veterans and not the potentially great rookies. Although I hate to admit it being a Giants fan Brian Dawkins is the perfect example. That guy belongs on the Eagles. He just does. I hated when the Giants played against that guy. He’s a veteran who still plays at a high level, provides leadership, and commands the attention of the younger players.

  5. “…It’s kind of an unfair concept to change the way the league works now for those young guys just because they’re young guys and can’t defend themselves because they’re not in the league yet.”
    So Foxworth is openly admitting he’s making decisions based on the people who are not paying into the unions? It seems to me if there was a rookie wage scale in place, but the salary cap was held mostly consistent, that money would be available for the veterans.
    I would also think, the owners may look closer at an earlier free agency mark if they know they don’t have to pay the No. 1 overall pick in 2019 a $85 million guaranteed contract.

  6. It is a very tricky topic because in fact there is already a rookie salary cap and they do not sign for just the rookie season. They do not sign with the highest bidder or best fit. The price for getting drafted number 1 instead of letting all 32 teams bid for your services is high, but still a lot less than it would be if there was true free agency and a free market for players in pro sports.
    The other very improtant point Foxworth made is the rookies are not in teh union until tehy sign a contract, so how much can the union really negotioate for them, and how many arbitrary rules can the owners apply to them?
    A wage scale makes sense, but not a rookie wage scale unless it is only for the first year and tehn you are a free agent or at least a restricted free agent where the team that drafted you can only match an offer or get no compensation.
    Why should there be a draft in football? A salary cap or wage scale of any kind? Why are there 1 sided contracts?
    If you take a player in the top 10 of the draft, he has been out of HS for 3 years already and you want that player on your team more than all the rest of the other prospects available. They had to keep up the grades and football prep, avoid agents and distractions and prove they had a certian value before getting a lot of money. It is not like teh NBA or MLB drafting guys right out of HS.
    In the NFL, if you have a good GM and good scouts, you never over pay a rookie. Ever. You trade the pick if there is not value, or let the time expire. You draft them but do not sign them. Trade the rights or let them go to the CFL. If a mistake is made in the NFL on a rookie, it is not the rookie’s fault. They were over drafted, poorly coached, not protected from injury or improperly motivated. There is no slotting system. No rule that says you have to pay a rookie x dollars or else, and if there is, what is the trade off? Why should a guy taken in the top 10 of the draft have to prove they are a star again before they are paid like one? they bring name reckognition, hope and jersey sales to a team before ever signing a contract, but htey have not proven anything?

  7. Really, fans would rather that players get paid $1.50 a game – does that mean that the union should bend over backwards for that?
    Seriously, how did the Texans pay for performance when they signed Schaub to that big contract based on his 177 passes with the Falcons? Did the Redskins get their money’s worth when they signed Haynesworth? The list goes on and on. You’re NOT paying for performance, you’re paying for the potential that they will continue past performance (or as in the case of guys like Schaub, the potential of limited appearances). How about Anderson with Cleveland? He has one good year and poof, he’s got a pretty good contract he basically didn’t earn except for that one year that he was severely underpaid.
    How about Tom Brady, whose team has severely underpaid him just so that it would allow them to spend less on the rest of the team because he’s “willing” to take less to stay around.
    The ONLY contract that these players have control of is their first because there’s no guarantee that there’s going to be a second or even a third.

  8. This guy isn’t fit to lead anyone.
    Paying for potential is the problem.
    Jam Russ just lowered the bar to the point were players CANNOT say that players quit once they get paid because he was not only horrible after the Raiders threw ten on millions at him… he was apathetic which is worse.
    Rookies should sign 3 year “window” contracts to see if they can swim with the big fish.
    Oh ans don’t say they got hurt and their career is over either. That’s a 8itch money grab.
    We are talking about millions of bank.
    Sorry Rookies, I don’t feel your pain.

  9. The teams get steals?!? Not really, because every player that thinks they are good (almost all of the “steals”) threaten to, or actually do, hold-out and demand to renegotiate their contract. A rookie wage scale is the right and smart thing to do. The players’ position about needing to make a higher percentage of league profits does not hold water when you look at how much they collectively make. The future rookies are not part of the league or union and therefore do not yet deserve “protection”. Normal unions (most are detreimental to the overall businesses they are part of) “protect” the current members, often at the expense of the future employees. This union is backwards in that regard but is still doing an amazing job of killing the cash-cow they arrogantly refuse to admit exists. No NFL player is destitute…ALL OF THE PLAYERS…rookies, veterans, stars and bench warmers…earn in the 97th percentile of all wage earners in the United States…what do they really have to complain about? Nothing at all…they are just greedy and want more money.

  10. The players don’t need the fan support and are smart to resist a rookie wage scale. Its a accelerator for veteran salaries. Sam Bradford is looking at 45 to 50 million guaranteed. I bet that will be the starting number for proven guys like Manning, Brady and Brees when negotiating contracts. The NFL and NFLPA doesn’t care what the fans want or support. Its a business. Fans always forget that.

  11. “Fans don’t want their teams to continue to pay player based on potential.”
    What do fans know? If fans were worth a hoot they’d be playing instead of watching. A fan is someone who gets winded tying his shoes, but boo’s a guy that could literally stomp the dog crap out of the fan.

  12. Now I’m really torn. As much as I’d like to see Foxworthy out in the private sector trying to get paid for potential, I’d also like to see this moron heading up the NFLPA. There are a lot of players with the entitlement mindset who deserve a guy like him who will ruin things for the them.
    When I thought the quality of my work exceeded what I was being paid; I took that as a point of pride. But that’s old school, right?

  13. Get a clue Florio, your either smarter than your writing in your article and assuming your readers are dumb or you should be smarter. That’s like saying your are incredibly disappointed when you go to a car dealership and the salesman’s first offer isn’t as low as you know it should be.
    We all know these are just public posturing tactics that we’re going to be hearing for the next 12 months from both sides to try and gain public favor when they hit the bargaining table. The truth and the result is going to lie somewhere in the middle between what both sides are saying and want.

  14. Yes Because Tim Brown making more money than someone like Jamarcus is just plain wrong right?

  15. Nobody ever explained this to me:
    They don’t have to. Nobody forces them to do it. They want it. Because it shows they have a big business. It pimps their egos. It shows they have the greatest sport. It shows they can pay it. But its a completely self-made problem.
    And the players don’t seem to understand that the cake has a fixed size. Giving 50 Mio $ to one guy means less for the others.
    BTW: I understand that the first pick “earned” the money by putting himself in a position to be the first pick. That’s outstanding. But it doesn’t take 50 Mio $ for that.

  16. I like the way things are right now. A team has to really do there homework on a player they might be drafting #1. If they get it wrong financially the teams will be affected and also on the field. Your organization might be 4yrs away from recovering. With a rookie scale teams wont have that huge financial risk and a wrong pick wont hurt as much. It will make it easier for these teams to get rid of a young player after 2 yrs who wasnt what you thought they’d be. Plus teams right now hate restructuring contracts when a young player out plays his contract (Chris johnson, Desean Jackson). So when these rookies under a rookie scale out play there’s after a 2-3 yrs we are going to have some problems because FO’s are going to want them to play out there rookie contracts that arent that great to bein with.

  17. B Atkins says,
    who cares what fans think. If fans were worth a hoot they would be playing instead of watching.
    Fans pay the salaries of players like yourself who based on your stats, no starts in 3 seasons and 29 total tackles seems like you are very experienced of watching on the bench !

  18. The first pick argument is ridiculous because team needs determine who is picked. If the Rams do as expected this year and earn the top pick next year would they pick Locker (expected to be #1 overall as best player available)? NO…they already have Bradford so they would pick somebody else. Locker would still be the best player available and “earn” the top contract but it would go to someone else. Every draft would look much different as far as player order goes if the team order was rearranged.

  19. Foxworth and the Union are idiots if they want to keep the current system for rookies. An agreement without a rookie wage scale is a complete failure. The veterans are in effect slitting their own throats to not want to be rewarded for performance. The notion that some of the proceeds shouldn’t also go to retired players is very short sighted and shows Foxworth to be a very poor leader indeed.

  20. “I think players should get paid on potential,” Foxworth reiterated.
    Example: Would a law firm pay big bucks to a kid just coming out of law school even if he ran a 4.0 GPA?
    I didn’t think so!

  21. Foxworth is a union rep. What else would he say? Paying for potential is not rational thinking. We could list many players that never lived up to their potential. Jamarcus Russell for one. Paying for potential is throwing money away. And this system cannot continue forever. There is a point where the Golden Goose dies. A rookie salary structure is not only necessary, it’s mandatory.

  22. FumbleNuts says:
    July 25, 2010 3:25 PM
    “I think players should get paid on potential,” Foxworth reiterated.
    Example: Would a law firm pay big bucks to a kid just coming out of law school even if he ran a 4.0 GPA?
    I didn’t think so!”
    But would a Law firm get to draft the top prospect from teh top school and pay them a slotted amount or would they have to recruit and pay them more than a competitior?
    If you want a rookie wage scale you have to destroy the draft or the rest of the system. Or make rookie contracts 1 year and then pay them what they are worth to another team. The NFL is still operating in the USA. They can not just tell players that are not even in the unioon yet where they have to play and how much they will make. The fact that is a lot of money to broke people is irrelavent.

  23. The fact that the NFL is the only sports league where teams HATE getting top picks
    Why would we want to keep a system where top picks are DESTROYING teams rather than help them

  24. Let’s see what Foxworth’s opinion is in a couple of years when he’s being pushed by a 1st round pick who’s making too money to sit.

  25. I have said it once and I will keep saying it. I would rather see the players get paid then the old, wrinkled, saggy balled owners. They take the majority of money and then fleece tax payers into coughing up money for stadiums by threatening to move the team. Go Union!

  26. It’s simple: pay for performance. This way, the BEST players get paid the MOST, and also so players don’t play their hearts out their first 2 years in the league and then decide to “chill-out” once they get their 6-year, multi-milli contracts done (aka Albert Haynesworth, Terrell Sugges, etc.)

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