Buckeye juniors may decided not to come out for the 2009 NFL Draft

Buckeye juniors may decided not to come out for the 2009 NFL Draft

Brian Hartline

Buckeye Juniors may decided not to come out for the 2009 NFL Draft

Everyone remembers the 1983 quarterback draft with great fondness but that draft was one of the greatest in NFL history for all positions.  Even in the 10th round teams found quality players like Tim Krumrie all-star DT for the Bengals.  But what very few people realize, that draft had the best of 2 classes not one.

By Bill Smith

    The NCAA changed the red shirt rule that allowed players to be in the college system for 5 years instead of 4.  Prior to the change, a player could only be granted an extra year of eligibility if he was injured.  As a result, in 1983, many of the quality players that would have been available in 82 were red-shirted and thus available in 83. 

    2010 might be a year very much like 1983 depending on what happens in negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.  As things stand now, there will be a draft in 2010 but that will be an uncapped year.  Without an extension of the current agreement, or a new one, there will be no limit on what any team can spend for a player. 

    Rookie salaries have skyrocketed over the last few years (Jake Long got 30 million guaranteed in a 5 year 57 million dollar deal) despite a cap on both the total a team could pay its rookie class and a cap on the salaries of the top 51 veterans on the roster.  Last year the team salary cap was over 107 million dollars.  With no cap of any kind in 2010, the rookies drafted in that year will have a great deal of negotiating power.

    The odds of that being the situation in 2010 depend on how negotiations go between the league and the union.  At this point, both sides are talking tough but that means very little.  Gene Upshaw, Executive Director of the union, has been under fire from some members.  He has negotiated the largest percentage increase of total revenues dedicated to the players than any professional league in history.  The players currently get around 65 percent of the total revenue (minus some small exemptions) coming into the league.  Even so, the players want more. 

    The owners, on the other hand, are not satisfied with the deal they agreed to either.  One thing that management wants is a slotted salary for draft choices similar to the one in the NBA.  It may well lead to a lockout by the league and the dissolution of the NFLPA by the players in an attempt to strike a new split of revenues.  If a lockout occurs, it will likely be in 2011.

    Those juniors that go back to school in 2009 run a risk.  If after the declaration date for the 2009 draft the league comes to agreement that the 2010 draft will include a slotted salary, the juniors that stayed will have lost a year of pay and the chance for what are now very large guaranteed dollars.  If there is no agreement, the league may lockout the players in 2010.  Again, if that happened, the 2010 rookies would lose.  If the situation does not change, the 2010 rookies will be for a windfall unlike any year in NFL history. 

    Life is a risk.  We all have to make life changing decisions but for potential NFL players these choices may be very profitable or extremely expensive.

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


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