We all have heard about the contract negotiations going on with the main focus towards the rookie contracts. I would have to agree that its not right and unfair for unproven rookies to come in hear and get a big contract that's sometimes 5-6 times what the veterans are making.
2009 Mathew Stafford 6 years for $72 million with $41.7 million guaranteed + incentives.
2008 Jake Long 5 years for $57.5 million with $30 million guaranteed + incentives.
2007 Jamarcus Russell 6 years for $68 million with $31.5 million guaranteed + incentives.
This list can go on forever but you get the point. To try and put this in perspective, when the Dallas Cowboys were sold in 1984, the team and the lease to Texas Stadium went for $85 million. Bob Tisch paid $75 million for 50% of the Giants in 1991. That money bought franchises. So now your gonna try and tell me that these rookies are worth more than franchises?
It used to be the teams picking at the top of the draft would be inundated with trade offers. They would have the option: pick the best player or maximize the value of the pick and trade it for multiple picks. But it's rare now that a team outside the top five wants to trade into the top five. Why? Economics. The money has become so outrageous that it is now a burden to have a top pick.
It's an embarrassment for the NFL that nobody wants to pick first. And unless there is a draft with another Peyton Manning, who wants to pay $41.7 million? This has to addressed and quickly.
Here's what I would propose:
For those that don't know me I run a construction crew in Arizona. Do everything from paving highways to widening lanes to building bridges etc. etc. If I get the contract for the job I receive a standard lump sum. When the job is finished we will receive bonuses based on the quality of the job, completing the job before the time specified, doing the job safely with no incidents and so on.....
First off the based contract salary has to be lowered considerably, then the guaranteed money needs to be minimum if any at all. Then (between the player and team) come up with a couple bonuses and incentives. Keep the contracts around 3 years, with a low based pay. then add for example: if Mr. Smith can complete 200 completions or 40% of his throws give him a bonus for his hard work. If he's a RB offer a bonus for x# of yards and maybe another bonus if he doesn't fumble. Certain bonuses for certain positions obviously but what this would do is keep the big money with the prov-en veterans where it belongs and keeps the young kids hungry and motivated.
I for one am tired of watching a rookie make $60-$80 million for nothing. What would keep him motivated? Why would he even need another contract? Only players that have put their time in should make that much. You may or may not agree and that's fine but something needs to happen, but when you can buy a franchise for less than you spend on a rookie there's something wrong. No rookie is worth more than a franchise. Take or own Jfree this year, got a descent amount and wasn't even suppose to play at all this year. And yes playing time needs to be included among their incentives.
Not sure what will happen but hopefully there's a better system put in place.