Thursday, February 10, 2011

CSN Reports On Internal NFLPA Memo & Battle Over Rookie Pay

According to an NFLPA internal memo obtained by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the two sides are far from agreement on how rookies should be paid.

The NFL wants a cap on rookie deals. Owners would say look no further than Sam Bradford, whose contract represented a seminal moment in the history of escalating rookie contracts. Bradford, who had never taken a snap in the NFL, signed a record contract that included $50 million in guaranteed money. As for other rookie guaranteed money, Matt Stafford signed for $42 million, Jarmarcus Russell for $32 million, Ndamukong Suh for $40 million, Gerald McCoy for $35 million and Trent Williams for $36.7 million.

These numbers pretty much guarantee that the NFL will not walk away from the negotiation table without some type of restriction on rookie deals. You can bet on it.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
In the Jan. 26 memo to the Executive Committee and Board of Player Representatives, executive director of the NFLPA DeMaurice Smith described the NFL's proposal as a rigid wage scale that includes "no individual negotiations of contracts at all."

In the NFL's proposal, according to the memo, minimum salaries would be reduced to the point that the first-year minimum for players entering the league in 2017 would be $5,000 less than it was for first-year players 2010.

The league proposed the wage scale be five years for players chosen in the first round and four years for all other drafted players. Drafted players would be ineligible to renegotiate their deals or sign contract extensions until after three years.

The memo cited an example of the two proposals. The NFL wants a defensive tackle selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft to receive $8.6 million over five years, assuming he has at least 40-percent play time in two different seasons. The union's proposal calls for the same player to receive $18 million over four years, assuming he had one year of at least 35-percent play time.
By comparison, Green Bay selected defensive tackle B.J. Raji with the ninth pick in the 2009 draft. He signed a five-year deal for a total package of $22.5 million.
Good read. By the way, the average NFL career spans 3.6 years.

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