Thursday, April 24, 2008

NFL Rookie Salary Limits

I was listening to ESPN radio's Mike and Mike on the way into work this morning, and they had the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on. The two hosts advocated for a predictable rookie salary structure, like the NBA has, and asked Goodell what he thought. To my surprise, he totally agreed with it. Like the hosts, he thought that a structured system (that would, essentially, take money away from the top picks) would be good for the NFL because it would mean more salary cap room would be spent on veterans salaries, instead of handing it off in huge amounts to unproven players.

As a fan, I totally support the idea because (A) the huge salaries top draft picks command can make a bad team even worse if the player is a bust and the draft should be about helping bad teams get better, and (B) I'm tired of holdouts. Holdouts can ruin rookie seasons and limit a player's development. And they piss fans off. (I think that's a big reason why Packer fans turned on so quickly Terrell Buckley-- because he was a high pick who had a lengthy holdout. His relationship with the team started off terribly.)

So I'm tired of this crap. The draft is fun. Talking about the draft is fun. Researching and evaluating the guys your team picks is fun. Waiting forever for players that you were excited to see play sign a contract is the farthest thing from fun. Anything that puts an end to holdouts and gets the salaries of the first ten or so picks under control is alright with me. I know the owners want it. So do the older, lower drafted players. Do it already, NFLPA.

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