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james.mcmurry
11-16-2008, 07:56 PM
This is my first post, so I'm going to make it count...

This is an editorial that I wrote for my college English class (it received a grade of a 98).

"The salaries of the top picks in the NFL draft are spiraling out of control. Top five picks, especially quarterbacks, sign contracts with obscene dollar totals, and although the guaranteed money is less, it is just too much.
Take Falcons’ Quarterback Matt Ryan and Dolphins’ Left Tackle Jake Long for example. Long’s five-year contract, worth a possible total of around sixty million dollars and a guaranteed total of thirty million dollars, made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL before he had even been drafted, much less attended a practice. Ryan’s six-year, seventy million dollar contract, with about thirty-five million dollars guaranteed, put him among very good and proven quarterbacks, such as Tony Romo and David Garrard, in terms of salary.
Technically, there is a rookie salary cap for every team based on the number of picks they have and the round of those picks, but teams have found ways to work around it. Understandably, players taken in the seventh and final round of the draft receive salaries right at the minimum for NFL players, but the low salaries have been moving up the rounds recently. It is not uncommon for a team to have two first round picks and a pick in each round from rounds three through seven. This team would have a little more money to work with due to the two first round picks, but still not much given the high salaries of the first round picks. Most likely, this team would sign its third round pick to a contract worth double the league’s minimum salary, and the fourth through seventh round picks could all be stuck making the minimum. Not only is this a giant loophole to the rookie salary cap, but it gives a fourth round pick very little bargaining power, as the team will state that they need to pay him the minimum so that they will have enough money to sign the first round picks. This is a major problem.
So, one might wonder what type of solution would be possible for this problem. It is very simple, just look to the NBA. The NBA has structured the rookie salaries. No matter how good of a prospect a player is, he makes the same amount of money as everyone else who is picked in his slot. Whether you are a lights out number one overall pick in a strong draft class, such as Greg Oden, or a very risky pick at number one in a weak draft class, such as Andrea Barnagni, you will make the same money. The NFL should copy this system.
The only way to keep rookie salaries in check is to put a rookie salary structure into place in the NFL. Of course, a ten percent bonus, which is the normal amount for a quarterback over any other player, could be added onto a quarterback’s salary, just to keep it consistent, but this system is definitely necessary."

Now, add all of that up, and we have a problem, but what is even worse is the top ten pick success rate.

This is what I found of top ten picks between 1996 and 2005:

Success: 60
Failure: 40

So, teams are overpaying players who have a 3 out of 5 chance of living up o the expectations of a top pick.

This problem isn't as rampant and possibly destructive as I may have made it seem, but if it continues at the rate it is going, i could be a serious problem in a few years.

Tell me what you think.

Paranoidmoonduck
11-16-2008, 08:10 PM
Well, a couple things. First off, I don't think things go much longer without a fairly rigid rookie salary structure. Gene Upshaw isn't around to oppose the idea anymore, and most of the players union seems in favor of it.

Second, all of these deals are significantly backloaded and almost none of them go the full distance. This doesn't mean the issue is small. The ripple effect this has on the rest of the contract discussions in the NFL is massive. It's the number one reason that the salary cap has gone from about 67 million to 117 million in just 7 seasons.

It's an interesting discussion and it'll get more interesting because it's expected to be a big part of the CBA talks.

Race for the Heisman
11-16-2008, 08:15 PM
This is my first post, so I'm going to make it count...

This is an editorial that I wrote for my college English class (it received a grade of a 98).

"The salaries of the top picks in the NFL draft are spiraling out of control. Top five picks, especially quarterbacks, sign contracts with obscene dollar totals, and although the guaranteed money is less, it is just too much.
Take Falcons’ Quarterback Matt Ryan and Dolphins’ Left Tackle Jake Long for example.

Don't capitalize quarterback or left tackle.

Long’s five-year contract, worth a possible total of around sixty million dollars and a guaranteed total of thirty million dollars, made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL before he had even been drafted, much less attended a practice.

Long's situation is a little special, but he couldn't sign the contract and then not play for Miami, so the 'before he had even been drafted' bit is, if not wrong, at least partially incorrect. They owned his rights.

Ryan’s six-year, seventy million dollar contract, with about thirty-five million dollars guaranteed, put him among very good and proven quarterbacks, such as Tony Romo and David Garrard, in terms of salary.

As an aside, really? David Garrard makes that much money?

Technically, there is a rookie salary cap for every team based on the number of picks they have and the round of those picks,

Really? Color me ignorant, but how does it work?

but teams have found ways to work around it. Understandably, players taken in the seventh and final round of the draft receive salaries right at the minimum for NFL players, but the low salaries have been moving up the rounds recently. It is not uncommon for a team to have two first round picks and a pick in each round from rounds three through seven. This team would have a little more money to work with due to the two first round picks, but still not much given the high salaries of the first round picks. Most likely, this team would sign its third round pick to a contract worth double the league’s minimum salary, and the fourth through seventh round picks could all be stuck making the minimum. Not only is this a giant loophole to the rookie salary cap, but it gives a fourth round pick very little bargaining power, as the team will state that they need to pay him the minimum so that they will have enough money to sign the first round picks. This is a major problem.
So, one might wonder what type of solution would be possible for this problem. It is very simple, just look to the NBA. The NBA has structured the rookie salaries. No matter how good of a prospect a player is, he makes the same amount of money as everyone else who is picked in his slot. Whether you are a lights out number one overall pick in a strong draft class, such as Greg Oden, or a very risky pick at number one in a weak draft class, such as Andrea Barnagni, you will make the same money. The NFL should copy this system.
The only way to keep rookie salaries in check is to put a rookie salary structure into place in the NFL. Of course, a ten percent bonus, which is the normal amount for a quarterback over any other player, could be added onto a quarterback’s salary, just to keep it consistent, but this system is definitely necessary."

Now, add all of that up, and we have a problem, but what is even worse is the top ten pick success rate.

This is what I found of top ten picks between 1996 and 2005:

Success: 60
Failure: 40

So, teams are overpaying players who have a 3 out of 5 chance of living up o the expectations of a top pick.

This problem isn't as rampant and possibly destructive as I may have made it seem, but if it continues at the rate it is going, i could be a serious problem in a few years.

Tell me what you think.

Meh, I got bored where the bold stops. Anyway, maybe interesting to the casual fan, but nothing new for anyone here (except that part about a rookie salary cap; the way everyone bitches I would assume teams simply work within their overall cap).

BuddyCHRIST
11-16-2008, 08:19 PM
pretty simple and solid. I have been a big fan of the rookie salary cap for a long time. And not just because of guys being paid so much before they even play, but these contracts ruin lots of players because they get thrown into action too soon because you can't pay a guy that much to be a backup, Especially for QB's. Also its sad the way teams have begun to draft based on signability rather than actually fill their needs.

STARHEATHER
11-16-2008, 08:34 PM
i would say he was worth every penny of what hes making right now (ryan). i dont see hi mas being overpaid

giantsfan
11-16-2008, 08:39 PM
In the NBA players have guaranteed contracts. If you're willing to give the players guaranteed contracts I'm sure they'll accept a very rigid rookie salary cap.

hockey619
11-16-2008, 08:59 PM
The players union is going to be opposed to a rookie cap the way i understand the situation.

The reason is that high rookie salaries can be used as leverage by agents to inflate the potential contract value of free agents or players in negotiations for a new deal. High rookie contracts force an increase in the salary cap, so teams have more to spend to sign these rookies. GM's set the contract so that it is backloaded, meaning the majority of money against the cap is in the latter years, by which time a team will know if they want to resign a guy long term or get rid of him and save themselves the cap hit.

This trick has allowed teams to keep an unproportional amount of that expanded cap space free for spending on veterans. Pressure from fans to spend as close to the cap as possible in a theoretical attempt to put the best possible players on the field at a time means that at least some of this new found cap space spent. Proven stars to role players and everyone in between are resigned or signed out of free agency to inflated contracts because players always push for as much money as possible and teams can afford it. Also, as already stated, player contracts in the NBA are guarenteed, which isnt an efficient way of doing things in my opinion because theres less motivation to play hard if you know that win or lose, suck or star, you still get paid. That and the injury factor compared to basketball will keep owners from guarenteeing contracts. It just makes no bussiness sense.

A rookie cap help owners because they could bring the cap back down a little bit immediately but not nearly as much as everyone thinks at first. Long term it would allow owners to keep more of the profit. So players will want to stay rookie capless while owners will want more cash in their pockets.

steelersfan43
11-16-2008, 10:01 PM
Why do people care about huge contracts for the players? Wouldnt you want the money to go to your favorite players and not to the greedy Franchise owners? I sure do.

dhp318
11-16-2008, 10:41 PM
really? A 98?

Iamcanadian
11-17-2008, 01:08 AM
Well, a couple things. First off, I don't think things go much longer without a fairly rigid rookie salary structure. Gene Upshaw isn't around to oppose the idea anymore, and most of the players union seems in favor of it.


Here I completely disagree with you. The players union knows full well that this is a money grab by the owners and will oppose it with all their strength. The rookier salaries are the driving force in pressuring veteran salaries to increase substantially every year. Without the pressure from the rookie salaries, the owners would have far more leverage to keep NFL veteran salaries lower. There is no way they intend to turn the savings from high rookie salaries over to the players, they want that money for themselves.

Second, all of these deals are significantly backloaded and almost none of them go the full distance. This doesn't mean the issue is small. The ripple effect this has on the rest of the contract discussions in the NFL is massive. It's the number one reason that the salary cap has gone from about 67 million to 117 million in just 7 seasons.

Here I agree somewhat. Your right on that salaries are backloaded into the non guaranteed years and for the most part the rookies who don't produce are gone off the books after 3 or 4 years, so the 40% of failures aren't nearly as expensive as the poster thinks.
Where I completely disagree with you is that rookie salaries are the #1 reason the salary cap has gone from 67 million to 117 million dollars. The increase in cap dollarrs is strickly driven by increasing revenues especially TV income and has absolutely nothing to do with Rookie salaries.


It's an interesting discussion and it'll get more interesting because it's expected to be a big part of the CBA talks.

It is my opinion that the owners will try and use public opinion to pressure the union into some sort of rookie salary structure. They'll never mention that they want the money for themselves and not to pay veterans more. They have little sympathy for increasing veteran salaries. This is strickly a revenue grab by the owners.

Mr. Stiller
11-17-2008, 01:12 AM
It is my opinion that the owners will try and use public opinion to pressure the union into some sort of rookie salary structure. They'll never mention that they want the money for themselves and not to pay veterans more. They have little sympathy for increasing veteran salaries. This is strickly a revenue grab by the owners.

the problem is..

When does the Salary Cap overcome the Shared income stream of the NFL?

It can't keep growing at the rate it has been.

Iamcanadian
11-17-2008, 01:53 AM
[QUOTE=james.mcmurry;1316947]This is my first post, so I'm going to make it count...

This is an editorial that I wrote for my college English class (it received a grade of a 98).

"The salaries of the top picks in the NFL draft are spiraling out of control. Top five picks, especially quarterbacks, sign contracts with obscene dollar totals, and although the guaranteed money is less, it is just too much.

This is a complete myth. Rookie salaries fit well within the current salary structure of the NFL and only non informed fans think otherwise. They are not out of control one iota.

Take Falcons’ Quarterback Matt Ryan and Dolphins’ Left Tackle Jake Long for example. Long’s five-year contract, worth a possible total of around sixty million dollars and a guaranteed total of thirty million dollars, made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL before he had even been drafted, much less attended a practice. Ryan’s six-year, seventy million dollar contract, with about thirty-five million dollars guaranteed, put him among very good and proven quarterbacks, such as Tony Romo and David Garrard, in terms of salary.

So what, it still fits well within the salary structure of any NFL team. Only the guaranteed money is worth even looking at. If a player fails to produce, he will never see the non guaranteed money at stake. The 40% of failures rarely ever get a dime of the non guaranteed money.

Technically, there is a rookie salary cap for every team based on the number of picks they have and the round of those picks, but teams have found ways to work around it. Understandably, players taken in the seventh and final round of the draft receive salaries right at the minimum for NFL players, but the low salaries have been moving up the rounds recently. It is not uncommon for a team to have two first round picks and a pick in each round from rounds three through seven. This team would have a little more money to work with due to the two first round picks, but still not much given the high salaries of the first round picks. Most likely, this team would sign its third round pick to a contract worth double the league’s minimum salary, and the fourth through seventh round picks could all be stuck making the minimum. Not only is this a giant loophole to the rookie salary cap, but it gives a fourth round pick very little bargaining power, as the team will state that they need to pay him the minimum so that they will have enough money to sign the first round picks. This is a major problem.

Again, so what! Rounds 4 through 7 rarely see a lot of guaranteed money, if any, because their failure rate is off the charts. This isn't a problem at all, it is just the reality of not being talented enough to get drafted higher.

So, one might wonder what type of solution would be possible for this problem. It is very simple, just look to the NBA. The NBA has structured the rookie salaries. No matter how good of a prospect a player is, he makes the same amount of money as everyone else who is picked in his slot. Whether you are a lights out number one overall pick in a strong draft class, such as Greg Oden, or a very risky pick at number one in a weak draft class, such as Andrea Barnagni, you will make the same money. The NFL should copy this system.

This is totally unrealistic. Football players average a 4 year career while NBA roster players are closer to a 10 year career. The NBA has unrestricted FA after a # of years for all its star players with no franchising allowed. This would be total chaos with a 53 man roster. There is no way in h-ll you could ever get the NFL owners to agree to total FA after 4 or 5 years. The union would oppose it totally because of the career expectancy of their members. They would probably settle for maybe a 3 year period but the owners would oppose that forever.

The only way to keep rookie salaries in check is to put a rookie salary structure into place in the NFL. Of course, a ten percent bonus, which is the normal amount for a quarterback over any other player, could be added onto a quarterback’s salary, just to keep it consistent, but this system is definitely necessary."

It isn't necessary at all unless you believe the owners should make a lot more money. That is the only reason why anyone should support a change. I reiterate, the rookie salaries fit quite well into the NFL salary structure.

Now, add all of that up, and we have a problem, but what is even worse is the top ten pick success rate.

This is what I found of top ten picks between 1996 and 2005:

Success: 60
Failure: 40

So, teams are overpaying players who have a 3 out of 5 chance of living up o the expectations of a top pick.

Again, salaries are back loaded so unless a rookie succeeds as the 60% do, they will see only the guaranteed money in their contract. Again, there is no problem except in your imagination. Rookie salaries cause very little concern for NFL teams, they are only a problem for fans.


This problem isn't as rampant and possibly destructive as I may have made it seem, but if it continues at the rate it is going, i could be a serious problem in a few years.

Why would it be a serious problem in a few years. The NFL sets and controls the rookie cap based on revenues. If revenues increase the rookie cap which is included with the team cap increases and salaries go up. If revenues decrease, these caps go down. There is absolutely no way it can be a problem for a team. The only time it becomes a problem for a team is when a top team manages to secure a top pick, then they may have a problem fitting it in to their salary cap since their players make a lot more money otherwise weak teams really have no problem signing their picks.

Rookie salaries may seem obscene but they all fit into teams current salaries with little problem. The owners would like you to take their side in a union debate over rookie salaries so if there is a strike, you'll blame the union and not them, but all they really want is more revenue in their pockets and less in the players pocket including less in the veterans pockets.
This is simply a fight about whether the players get more money or the owners keep more money, the rookie salaries are just a red herring should it come to a strike which IMO, we are very likely to see, and it could be a long one involving substitute players.
I'm sorry to say, you may have got a 98 in English but you would be lucky to get a pass from an economics professor.

Scott Wright
11-17-2008, 02:02 AM
Welcome to the board James!

I agree 100% with your sentiment. I have been a proponent of a rookie salary scale for years. It's not that I don't think the players should get the money because I'd rather have it go to them than the billionaire owners. However, I'd rather see the big money go to proven, All-Pro's than guys who haven't even played a down yet.

My main problem with the huge rookie salaries is the negative effect it is having on the NFL Draft. Teams literally don't want top draft picks anymore and that should never be the case.

d34ng3l021
11-17-2008, 02:33 AM
Welcome to the board James!

I agree 100% with your sentiment. I have been a proponent of a rookie salary scale for years. It's not that I don't think the players should get the money because I'd rather have it go to them than the billionaire owners. However, I'd rather see the big money go to proven, All-Pro's than guys who haven't even played a down yet.

My main problem with the huge rookie salaries is the negative effect it is having on the NFL Draft. Teams literally don't want top draft picks anymore and that should never be the case.

Agreed. The salaries are bogus for the fact that they have not yet played, but the fact that a bust can weigh down a franchise so much and set it back is ridiculous.

james.mcmurry
11-18-2008, 04:47 PM
Agreed. The salaries are bogus for the fact that they have not yet played, but the fact that a bust can weigh down a franchise so much and set it back is ridiculous.

That is one of the two main parts of this that make me believe in a rigid rookie salary scale; some teams are almost afraid of drafting that high, as they would usually be a team that already has a lot of problems, and would be one expensive bust away from being in all-out turmoil.

The other problem is that teams can find ways to not pay veterans. The teams have to spend the money that is given to them in shared revenues (most spend much more than this), so the more they give to rookies, the less they have to invest in older players who have already proven themselves.

That just seems backwards to me. Teams should be giving the money to the players who have proven themselves, and should give less money to the players who haven't. It just seems so easy to me.

Thanks for all the feedback guys.

Paranoidmoonduck
11-18-2008, 05:05 PM
I don't think that we even need a rigid rookie salary scale. What we do need is either a limit on guaranteed money or a set % of that guaranteed money to be based on performance escalators. I have no inherent problem with rookies making money, but it really skews the contract negotiations all over the league when players who are Pro Bowlers come up for another contract.

Personally, I'd like to see enough wiggle room in escalators that a 2nd or 3rd rounder who starts and plays well in his first couple seasons would get a comparable or superior salary to a 1st rounder who disappoints.

Truthfully, players who perform getting paid like they should and players who disappoint getting paid like they should is only good for the entire NFL enterprise. There's a real problem with the current system and there's definitely steps that can be taken to rectify it.

illmatic74
11-18-2008, 05:17 PM
A rookie scale would hurt veterans as well. They would lose a lot of their leverage when they went to the negotation table. When Aaron Rodgers was negotiating don't you think he brought up Ryan's deal? Ifthe rookies were paid less do you really think that it automatically means the vetereans make more? Also remember you get paid off what they think you will do not on what you have already accomplished.

BamaFalcon59
11-18-2008, 05:36 PM
A rookie scale would hurt veterans as well. They would lose a lot of their leverage when they went to the negotation table. When Aaron Rodgers was negotiating don't you think he brought up Ryan's deal? Ifthe rookies were paid less do you really think that it automatically means the vetereans make more? Also remember you get paid off what they think you will do not on what you have already accomplished.

Well that's silly. Matt Ryan owns Aaron Rodgers.

sweetd20
11-18-2008, 05:36 PM
That leverage stance came from player agents and their buddy Upshaw. The salary cap is based on the revenue stream not on what the rookies are earning. The agents and players know what the average contract increase is each year in the NFL and that's not going to change because the rookies are making less money. If anything the owners will have more money to throw at the few highly sought after FAs each year. A rooke cap also will get these guys in camp on time and speed up the transition to the NFL game that a lot of them lose out on by sitting out waiting to sign their deals.

A good idea would be a cap system with three year max contracts that can be extended with a new deal after the first two seasons. With only three years max the players will still get those big deals if they are worth but in this case they now have shown they are worth that money. It's similar to the NBA system and in their league I haven't seen a rookie cap have any negative effect on their FA deals.

illmatic74
11-18-2008, 05:40 PM
That leverage stance came from player agents and their buddy Upshaw. The salary cap is based on the revenue stream not on what the rookies are earning. The agents and players know what the average contract increase is each year in the NFL and that's not going to change because the rookies are making less money. If anything the owners will have more money to throw at the few highly sought after FAs each year. A rooke cap also will get these guys in camp on time and speed up the transition to the NFL game that a lot of them lose out on by sitting out waiting to sign their deals.

A good idea would be a cap system with three year max contracts that can be extended with a new deal after the first two seasons. With only three years max the players will still get those big deals if they are worth but in this case they now have shown they are worth that money. It's similar to the NBA system and in their league I haven't seen a rookie cap have any negative effect on their FA deals.Because the owners have more money to spend it doesn't mean they will spend it. The owners would go great we don't have to pay the rookies or the veterans

Paranoidmoonduck
11-18-2008, 05:44 PM
A rookie scale would hurt veterans as well. They would lose a lot of their leverage when they went to the negotation table. When Aaron Rodgers was negotiating don't you think he brought up Ryan's deal? Ifthe rookies were paid less do you really think that it automatically means the vetereans make more? Also remember you get paid off what they think you will do not on what you have already accomplished.

It's true. Contract wouldn't expand at the rate they've been expanding recently. Every offseason would not equal record setting contract numbers. But as Mr. Stiller pointed out, we can't afford for contracts to expand much further. Do we really want a 200+ million roster cap in 2015? The NFL is already in debt and players already make plenty.

There are two hopes with some sort of restrictions to rookie salaries (and, like I've said, I'm not sure a scale the right way to go).

First, you hope that we can reach some sort of stabilization among player contracts, so a contract had now is not particularly laughable in five years. I think it's really silly that Peyon Manning can sign the largest contract in NFL history and then have people seriously wondering if he's comparativaly underpaid just four years later. The fact is that contracts have expanded plenty enough that they won't be able to go back down for the players that have earned them somewhat. Rodgers may have pointed at Matt Ryan's contract, but he didn't neccesarily need to, and now someone like Matt Cassell can point to Aaron Rodgers' contract numbers.

Second, you hope that you eliminate the situation in NFL rosters right now, where most of the cap space goes to a handful of top players and whatever 1st round pick that team had that year. If you drop the huge expense of rookies, maybe the guys just under the top pay grade get some of the money. Gene Upshaw liked to say that rookie contracts help veteran contracts, but that's only for so long. The NFL salary cap can only expand so far and there's only so much money available. If we continue the system we have, where whoever hit free agency or was drafted most lately is paid significantly more than those who were drafted or signed just two or three seasons ago, things won't last very long. It's not a sustainable system.

regoob2
11-18-2008, 05:54 PM
I cant wait until there is a draft and no elite players comes out and the top teams all refuse to make a pick. I could see that happening.

james.mcmurry
11-18-2008, 05:54 PM
Because the owners have more money to spend it doesn't mean they will spend it. The owners would go great we don't have to pay the rookies or the veterans

Actually, it does in a way.

There technically is a minimum cap (which I believe is the amount each team gets from shared revenue).

If a rookie salary structure were to be put into place, the league could raise the salary cap to a certain percent above the shared revenue (right now the minimum cap is 100% of the shared revenue, they could raise it to 130% or something like that).

So, if the rookies make less and the teams have to spend more, the veteran players would naturally make more money, they would have to.

I don't know that I like 3 years as the max contract, as the players would either be restricted free agents or exclusive (no) rights free agents, plus, thte teams might not have enough time to evaluate whether or not the player will become what they wanted him to when the drafted him.

The number of years would be included in a rookie salary structure, maybe 4 years for first rounders, 3 for second through fourth rounders, 2 for fifth and sixth rounders, and 1 for seventh rounders, or something like that.

Loggerhead
11-18-2008, 07:45 PM
The NFL is the only league where contracts aren't guarenteed. If there was a rookie cap the NFL should make all contracts guarenteed since the players can be cut at any time and raise all of the money for the league. If they were to do this though I think they should do 3-4 year contracts for the first 10 picks 2 year contracts with a 3rd year option so the rookies could hit free agency sooner.