Editorial: A solution to the NFL rookie salary situationCommissioner spoke again yesterday about the need to implement a salary control for NFL rookies. There is a way to fix the situation without NFLPA agreement and here it is.
By Bill Smith
Rookie Salary Issues
NFL owners as usual are complaining about how much water is in the boat while at the same time they are busy drilling holes in the bottom. This time they are complaining about how much they are forced to pay rookies. They pay millions of dollars just to get a draft choice on the field to see if the kid can play or if he is a stiff.
The agents for the players have obviously found a new technique to negotiate the contracts of their clients. Based on the amounts of money that are changing hands, the agents have to be wearing masks and carrying guns. They can see no end in site but there is one and it is so simple we have to wonder why all the highly paid staff in the NFL haven't done it.
The problem is that if you don't sign a rookie, his rights expire at the beginning of the next draft and the team that chose the player loses both the player and the choice. He can get drafted the following year and has lost only one year of payroll. Advantage—the player. The system is unfair.
If however the league agreed that the team would be awarded the same choice the following year that they lost by not signing the player, the team would be in exactly same place as the player. Yes, they would have lost the use of a top choice for a year but they would still get something for the choice. The pressure would be greatly reduced to give into the blackmail that the agent has at his or her disposal. The terminology is very important. They must use the existing compensation choices awarded for “drafted free agents lost.” Technically, an unsigned rookie is a “drafted free agent lost.”
The union will oppose the change but this should be approved by a court as an issue up to the league rather than negotiation with the union. This solution should reduce the cost of rookie contracts by around 40%. The threat of not signing a player would carry some weight with the kid and the agent.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for
http://BrutusReport.com. He has also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com