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View Full Version : Should the NFL adopt the NBA's rookie contract system


#1chiefs_fan
08-02-2007, 11:48 PM
In the NBA you get paid according to your slot in the draft. It doesn't matter if you could of been in top 10(brady quinn). You get paid for your slot you were selected in and there is no negotiations. There are no rookie holdouts either. Another thing I just don't understand how a guy who hasn't played a down in the NFL, should be making more money than some of the best players in the NFL. Thoughts???

Paul
08-03-2007, 12:15 AM
The NFLPA would never do it. I don't think it's a bad idea at all, a system like that can get your rookies in on time, less negotiations hassles and so forth. But the NFL is a business, and in a sport where there are no guarantees and and a risk of injury on every single snap, more then any other sport, rookies and agents are going to want get as much as they can, as soon as they can. Which is nothing new, I'm just stating the obvious.

Dam8610
08-03-2007, 12:51 AM
I would like to see the system implemented. The fact that JaMarcus Russell is going to get an amount of guaranteed money that's close to the amount Peyton Manning got is ridiculous.

The Great Jonathan Vilma
08-03-2007, 12:54 AM
without question and without discussion. YES!!

Denver Bronco99
08-03-2007, 12:56 AM
I would like to see the system implemented. The fact that JaMarcus Russell is going to get an amount of guaranteed money that's close to the amount Peyton Manning got is ridiculous.

that i agree with...an uproven player...he could be a bust....but will get more money then one of the best to play the posistion?

Dam8610
08-03-2007, 12:58 AM
that i agree with...an uproven player...he could be a bust....but will get more money then one of the best to play the posistion?

Not more, but he's going to get around $30 million in guarantees. Peyton got $35 million in guarantees.

Paul
08-03-2007, 12:58 AM
i'm not sure the NFLPA wouldn't buy it. i mean, who are the current members of the NFLPA? veteran players. who stands to profit the most from increased cap room created by a tiered rookie salary structure? veteran players. i'm not sure why the NFLPA would stand against that, assuming the rookie contracts were, as in the NBA, 3ish year contracts with more guaranteed money.

Interesting, makes sense. But despite the recent grumblings against Upshaw and company, they do want to look our for th best interest of there players, including the rookies who will soon be the faces and stars of this league. But I do see what you mean though, there could be a little "look out for #1" mentality from the veteran players on this matter. But I'm pretty sure this proposal has been brought up before, so something must have been holding it back.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
08-03-2007, 09:47 AM
absolutely. and i wouldn't be surprised if i was off a bit on what i'm expecting. but i dunno. it seems to make too muh sense not to happen. maybe someone just needs to let upshaw know that teams won't suddenly stop paying salaries the max out the cap limitations because they don't have to spend it on rookies. all those players are far more likely to get a big pay day after 3 seasons, when they actually deserve it. but then, maybe that's the point? i mean, the raiders can be reasonably sure that russell will be their property for 5-7 years. if the NBA structure were implemented, there wouldn't be any guarantees at the end point. i can see that being a holding point where the NFLPA wants its guys completely free to get a payday and the NFL owners want to be able to keep their talented players (and probably have league rules in place so they don't need to pay them market value).

*shrug*

Maybe they could make it so that after the rookie contract, they became restricted FAs. I think that's how it happens in the NBA.

Smooth Criminal
08-03-2007, 09:48 AM
Yes without a doubt. I would rather see teams have enough money to keep their own vets around rather than have to cut people to sign their own rookies. Plus it would get every rookie into camp on time and without a problem.

Only people that don't benefit are the incoming rookies and the agents.

bsaza2358
08-03-2007, 10:05 AM
I bet the NFL could get the NFLPA to bite on this by removing the franchise tag or limiting it to 1 time per player in his career, or something like that. I think the owners would like this system, and the players might take that kind of a swap.

P-L
08-03-2007, 10:11 AM
Rookie contracts are absurd. Calvin Johnson is the highest paid WR in the NFL before he steps onto a football field. I know there are incentives in rookie contracts, but look at the max value of Johnson's compared to contract of the former highest paid WR, Marvin Harrison.

Calvin Johnson - 6 years, $64 million, $27.2 million guaranteed
Marvin Harrison - 7 years, $67 million, $23 million guaranteed

Sure, Calvin will likely not meet all of the incentives in his contract, but it's still way too much. Even if he meets none of his incentives, he'll likely still have a contract that is top 5 at his position.

bsaza2358
08-03-2007, 10:45 AM
I think a more defined contract structure would benefit everyone in the long run. Players get into camp on time, they get their second/third contracts sooner, there's more FA's out there, and teams aren't hampered by bad contracts as much. I would allow the rookie/team to choose several different options and slots based on the draft position. You have to build in clauses that prevent the team from immediately renegotiating the contracts until after the first year. What I fear will happen is that rookies will hold out in their first training camp demanding a new contract before their careers even begin.

bsaza2358
08-03-2007, 10:46 AM
If I'm the owners, I'd gladly get rid of the franchise tag in exchange for the long-term benefit of slotted contracts for rookies. Of course, under my last post, I outlined a plausible situation, with the team renegotiating the contract almost immediately. I think they have to have some sort of requirement that the contract be in force for 2 seasons or something for the owners to really get any sort of benefit.

Addict
08-03-2007, 11:15 AM
it's a salary cap thing too. When Harrisson and Manning signed their deals the cap was smaller hence the amount of money payed was relatively bigger, not arguing the amounts the rooks are getting payed are insane, but it is something to keep in mind.

As far as the NBA system... I don't think that's all that convenient.

bsaza2358
08-03-2007, 11:56 AM
Seriously, how does an NBA-style contract system for rookie contracts make things inconvenient? Slotted contracts make things easier. Sure, the rookies aren't happy with it, but they also get their next big payday much sooner. I'm not suggesting that contracts should be as small as the NBA rookie scale, but there would be a lot of guaranteed money there. I think it benefits everyone because the breakout stars will get a second contract sooner, and the busts get their money up front, then can move on with minimal repurcussions to the drafting team.

etk
08-03-2007, 01:09 PM
Yes, the current system has gotten out-of-hand and there's nothing like it in any other sport. The economic risk of drafting a bust is tremendous, and very few rookies have "earned" the salaries they receive. Rookies shouldn't get $40+ million just because they ran a 4.3.

ShutDwn
08-03-2007, 01:11 PM
It would certainly avoid stupid negotiations such as the Panthers/Beason one, but more importantly the Browns/Quinn one

bsaza2358
08-03-2007, 02:06 PM
The Panthers-Beason negotiations are held up over terms of the contract. Money has been figured out. The way I see it, players shouldn't be upset about behavioral clauses in their contracts. If you're an upstanding citizen, in most cases, you'll be fine.

bsaza2358
08-03-2007, 02:08 PM
I think the biggest benefit to the slotted contracts is that NFL teams will have a much better idea what they're getting from their draft picks when they sign them to their second contracts. 2-3 years of playing time will allow a team to fairly assess a situation before forking over $28mm in guaranteed money.

ks_perfection
08-03-2007, 05:29 PM
The Panthers-Beason negotiations are held up over terms of the contract. Money has been figured out. The way I see it, players shouldn't be upset about behavioral clauses in their contracts. If you're an upstanding citizen, in most cases, you'll be fine.

Or if you play great you'll be fine too. If your a knucklehead off the field,that produces on the field the team wouldn't dare go after your signing bonus. The clause is simply to recoup money from players that are busts and happen to misbehave.

Smokey Joe
08-03-2007, 08:29 PM
I think it should be like the MLB and have arbitration. So, lets say you have a first round pick, and you sign him. He gets a bonus according to where he was drafted and a salary for his rookie season depending on his draft position. And then after his rookie season that player goes through 3 or 4 years of arbitration. Basically, that player would get paid what the average salary of the players at his position would who put up similar stats... It is confusing right now as this post is kinda a mess, but some people probably know what I am talking about.

ks_perfection
08-03-2007, 09:17 PM
that's a bizarre assertion that doesn't seem to have any basis in reality.

IF Pacman were a bust the Titans would be fightning to take his signing bonus money back, but since he's a great young player there letting it slide.

Turtlepower
08-03-2007, 09:34 PM
IF Pacman were a bust the Titans would be fightning to take his signing bonus money back, but since he's a great young player there letting it slide.

It is because of the salary cap that they won't cut him, not because they see him playing for them in the future. The only reason Tank Johnson was cut was because there was little money spent on him, but Pacman is a different story.

LSUALUM99
08-03-2007, 11:52 PM
The problem with the NBA type of system is that the NBA can resign their stud players. The NBA cap is a soft cap. If the player after 3 years turns out to be a stud they can sign them to a deal and just pay the luxury tax if needed.

The NFL cap is a hard cap. Competitive teams spend close to their cap each year (yes there is room, but it has been more from the cap increasing than teams just saving money, unless you're the Vikings of course). So, after 3 years your Calvin Johnson's of the world would hit FA and (assuming he plays as expected) get paid mega bucks. I think this type of system (while on the surface looking like a great idea) would hurt veteran players in the 29+ year old range. I mean, why sign a 29 year old guy when you know some 25 year old stud is going to hit the open market this year? Also, if a stud 25 year old hits the market, I think you'd see more 30 year olds get cut to make room to sign the super stud. I think the NFLPA would actually oppose this idea.

And, bear in mind that NBA players typically don't provide alot of return on investment their first two years. Very few NBA players are expected to come into the league and contribute signficantly immediately. NFL players are expected to contribute immediately.

Dam8610
08-04-2007, 12:55 AM
I think it should be like the MLB and have arbitration. So, lets say you have a first round pick, and you sign him. He gets a bonus according to where he was drafted and a salary for his rookie season depending on his draft position. And then after his rookie season that player goes through 3 or 4 years of arbitration. Basically, that player would get paid what the average salary of the players at his position would who put up similar stats... It is confusing right now as this post is kinda a mess, but some people probably know what I am talking about.

That would be a nightmare with the salary cap. No GM could even do a 3 year projection.

Man_Of_Steel
08-04-2007, 02:57 AM
The NBA system would really be a utopia for the front offices and I would love to see it implemented.

Fitzgerald11
08-04-2007, 02:16 PM
I think Mario Williams' 6-year $54 million deal with $26.5 million guaranteed should be the cut off point.

BigDawg819
08-04-2007, 02:41 PM
Rookie contracts are getting absurdly out of hand and something should be done about it. I mean Laron Landry holdsout until the Steelers resign Polomalu and then signs a deal that trumps him as the highest paid safety when he hasn't even stepped on the field? But putting the outragious money concerns, it would also help negate the holdouts which is another reason it should be addressed. Besides its getting out of hand when a Darrelle Revis pulls the "I'm sitting out a year and re-entering the draft" card ala the MLB draft.

Smokey Joe
08-04-2007, 03:02 PM
my idea:


For the NFL rookie signings, I would combine where the player gets drafted along with arbitration. So, my idea is that for each draft position there will be a different signing bonus and salary for one year, followed by 2 years, 3 years, or 4 years of arbitration. First day picks get automatically get at least 3 years of arbitration and first rounders 4 years. 2nd day picks can be signed to either length. The arbitration years will follow after the players rookie season. After the arbitration years, the player will become a free agent. If a team declines to offer arbitration on a player, that player becomes a free agent.

So, no matter where you are drafted you must sign to the bouns and first year salary of your draft spot. If a player refuses to sign, a la baseball, the team gets a compensation pick in the following draft at the same spot. However, the player refusing to sign CAN NOT re enter the draft for 2 more years. For example:

John X was drafted in the first round, 10 overall. For that draft spot, the player must sign a bonus of 5 million per year and their first year salary of 1 million. The team and agent/player come to an agreement of 4 years of arbitration, so, that player will recieve a 5 million bonus his rookie year, and 5 million for each of his arbitration years. If a team decides not to offer a player arbitration in one of those years, the player receives at least 1/2 of his signing bonus. The exact amount the player recieves will be determined by an arbitration officer.

Iamcanadian
08-05-2007, 09:15 AM
i'm not sure the NFLPA wouldn't buy it. i mean, who are the current members of the NFLPA? veteran players. who stands to profit the most from increased cap room created by a tiered rookie salary structure? veteran players. i'm not sure why the NFLPA would stand against that, assuming the rookie contracts were, as in the NBA, 3ish year contracts with more guaranteed money.

The NFL will never follow the NBA's route. The NBA only has to deal with small rosters and a few picks, the NFL doesn't have that luxury. It has a huge roster and a huge draft, and must by necessity keep salaries for veterans and rookies under control.
People are always comparing the total of a contract when using NFL salaries but truth be told, you really need only discuss the guaranteed money. That is all the majority of players are ever going to receive unless they become true stars. They are never going to see the 40 million that is added on to a contract for publicity purposes and for the few that become stars. Each team in the NFL likes to hold the option after the guaranteed money is reached of whether or not to retain a player otherwise the NFL couldn't function.
The NFL loves the system it has where only the stars ever see the money they contract for. The rest just watch as the 40 million evaporates into nothing if they don't reach that level of stardom.
As for the NFLPA also likes the system for a number of reasons. Rookie salaries drives up veteran salaries and in a sport where the average career is around 4 years, players have to maximize their earnings quickly so restricting rookie salaries makes no sense. Think of it this way, those who survive in the NFL make their money no matter what especially when they reach FA. Those whose careers are limited to the 4 years would make practically nothing from their football careers if rookie salaries are controlled for the 1st 3 or 4 years. Remember, the NFLPA is mostly made up of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year veterans and also remember that if rookie salaries were notacibly smaller, an awful lot of veterans would be released and more rookie players kept on.
You can forget ever seeing the NBA system in the NFL, it's not very likely to occur and would probably have to involve a system where the rookies would actually be guaranteed more money than they receive now which the NFL isn't very likely to accept.

Iamcanadian
08-05-2007, 09:22 AM
my idea:


For the NFL rookie signings, I would combine where the player gets drafted along with arbitration. So, my idea is that for each draft position there will be a different signing bonus and salary for one year, followed by 2 years, 3 years, or 4 years of arbitration. First day picks get automatically get at least 3 years of arbitration and first rounders 4 years. 2nd day picks can be signed to either length. The arbitration years will follow after the players rookie season. After the arbitration years, the player will become a free agent. If a team declines to offer arbitration on a player, that player becomes a free agent.

So, no matter where you are drafted you must sign to the bouns and first year salary of your draft spot. If a player refuses to sign, a la baseball, the team gets a compensation pick in the following draft at the same spot. However, the player refusing to sign CAN NOT re enter the draft for 2 more years. For example:

John X was drafted in the first round, 10 overall. For that draft spot, the player must sign a bonus of 5 million per year and their first year salary of 1 million. The team and agent/player come to an agreement of 4 years of arbitration, so, that player will recieve a 5 million bonus his rookie year, and 5 million for each of his arbitration years. If a team decides not to offer a player arbitration in one of those years, the player receives at least 1/2 of his signing bonus. The exact amount the player recieves will be determined by an arbitration officer.

This is ridiculous, only 2 player in the draft are paid this kind of money now, the #1 and #2 overall picks, the rest receive far less guaranteed money than 5 million a year. The NFL would be out of business under this plan. Secondly, if the NFL tried to ristrict players who don't sign when drafted to a 2 year wait, the courts would take a very dim view of such a course of action and the NFL would be sued left and right and have little chance of winning.

ks_perfection
08-05-2007, 11:52 AM
that's ridiculous. so teams are better off signing guys like akili smith to massive contracts and not being able to sign their veteran players than they would be slotting rookies and re-signing proven studs after 3-4 years and not being able to sign agining vets? that's just a bizarre notion.

some teams who were unable to manage their cap would end up losing quality veterans. but then, that happens now. what's the difference? with the NBA draft compensation, a team would know after 3 years that the guy they're giving a big contract to is actually worth it.

regardless, slotting the draft pick money would mean there's MORE money available for vets. i fail to see why the NFLPA would oppose that.

finally, your last point is absolutely backwards. what NFL team expects its rookies to contribute immediately? what NBA team sent lebron james to the practice squad for a few years to improve his game? what, exactly, are you talking about?

The NFLPA would oppose restrctions because its reducing how much money its members get. Sure most of the money would go instead to veterans, but its teh image that its working with the Owerns to reduce wages. Plus those rookies and future rookies will be members of the NFLPA and won't be too happy with the leaders who took millions from them.

Agents would fight the move and theres no way NFLPA would want to side with Owerns to fight agents to reduce salaries. They could trade it for higher salary cap limit in the next bargaining agreement, but they'd have ot get something in return.

draftguru151
08-05-2007, 12:17 PM
IF Pacman were a bust the Titans would be fightning to take his signing bonus money back, but since he's a great young player there letting it slide.

Then why exactly did the Dolphins try get $8.6 million from Ricky Williams? It's not exactly the same situation as Pacman, but Ricky was still a very talented player. Also Fred Evans, who would have been our primary back up NT and very likely our NT when Traylor retired, was cut the day after he got in trouble. He was an extremely talented player that the organization and players were very high on, but he was released because he messed up and because his cap hit was practically nothing.

Smokey Joe
08-05-2007, 03:48 PM
This is ridiculous, only 2 player in the draft are paid this kind of money now, the #1 and #2 overall picks, the rest receive far less guaranteed money than 5 million a year. The NFL would be out of business under this plan. Secondly, if the NFL tried to ristrict players who don't sign when drafted to a 2 year wait, the courts would take a very dim view of such a course of action and the NFL would be sued left and right and have little chance of winning.
I was just using that as an example. I was just throwing numbers out there.

LSUALUM99
08-05-2007, 05:04 PM
that's ridiculous. so teams are better off signing guys like akili smith to massive contracts and not being able to sign their veteran players than they would be slotting rookies and re-signing proven studs after 3-4 years and not being able to sign agining vets? that's just a bizarre notion.

some teams who were unable to manage their cap would end up losing quality veterans. but then, that happens now. what's the difference? with the NBA draft compensation, a team would know after 3 years that the guy they're giving a big contract to is actually worth it.

regardless, slotting the draft pick money would mean there's MORE money available for vets. i fail to see why the NFLPA would oppose that.

finally, your last point is absolutely backwards. what NFL team expects its rookies to contribute immediately? what NBA team sent lebron james to the practice squad for a few years to improve his game? what, exactly, are you talking about?

You use LeBron James as your example? Arguably the most talented prospect EVER in the NBA? I believe that's more the exception than the rule.

For every LeBron James' there are many Kwame Brown, Darko Milicic (Sp?), Devin Harris, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, Shaun Livingston, etc that are drafted in the top 10 with no expectations for playing significant minutes for several years.

These guys aren't just 1st round draft picks, but top 10. You could go on and on, and look at guys drafted on what they will be like in 3-4 years in the first round of the NBA.

In the NFL, a first round draft pick is expected to be on the field contributing in their first year. Even QB's aren't likely to sit much anymore. The NBA's contract system allows you to develop players and keep them if they do develop. Their contracts also are guaranteed so if the player is a dud, you don't have to sit on his massive deal for years. The NFL has no such guaranteed contract basis. The guaranteed money is much less than the total compensation reported so it doesn't cripple a team if they don't develop. If the players DO develop and turn into the stars you hope for, under the NBA system every team would have to pay their 25 year old STUD so much money that it would drastically reduce the money available for the run of the mill veteran.

The NFL's rookie salaries make up a small portion of their overall salary cap. Signing the rookies under the current system leaves a tremendous amount of money on the table for the middle of the road veterans. If you churned the 25 year old salaries again, it would mean alot more veterans getting cut.

I'll use this example. Terrance Newman is signed through 2009 for the Dallas Cowboys from his rookie deal. Had he been eligible for FA earlier a much greater portion of the Cowboys' cap would have been used, which means more 'cap casualty' players would have been cut. This means a player like Greg Ellis, making decent money coming off an injury and on the wrong side of 30, would have been cut. Or Al Singleton would have been cut two years ago. Those guys, when they get cut at their age, don't go on to sign contracts with other teams for more money. It REDUCES the money paid to veterans under a hard cap. The NBA has a soft cap. I don't know why this seems so foreign to you.

Green Bay Scat
08-05-2007, 05:08 PM
i dont like the fact that you make them the highest paid WR/RB and they havent even touched the Field since college.

BrownsTown
08-05-2007, 05:21 PM
I think for the first year they should be paid the league minimum and then do what they normally do the first year, the second year. It would give time for teams to assess the talent. If a player showed a lot of promise, they would get a decent size contract, if they looked bad, they can be signed for less, regardless of position.

Iamcanadian
08-06-2007, 07:46 AM
what? sorry to cherry pick, but this is clearly not true. paying jamarcus russell more than nearly any QB in the NFL (in that guaranteed money you keep preattling on about, as if signing bonuses weren't guaranteed) does not in any way, shape or form help veterans. i think you're absolutely right that it won't happen, but your logic is flawed here.

I beg to differ. Russell's contract will hasve a huge impact on what veteran QB's will be asking for in their FA year. Their agents will use Russell's contract to demand far higher pay for their players. Russell's contract also applies to the franchise tag limits automatically driving up the price for tagging your veteran QB.
So I cannot agree that Russell's contract has absolutely no impact on veterans. During FA, the contracts given to rookies has a direct impact on what veterans will be asking for and getting. Think about it.

7-11
08-06-2007, 10:16 PM
i think 1 to 2 year contracts defined by draft position would work out best, then after a year or two of evaluation the teams can then hold exclusive rights to the players to decide if they are worth the mega bucks