Should the NFL have a rookie salary cap? Answer in the poll to the right.
Each year a discussion of whether or not the NFL should have a rookie salary cap is debated. This year at the start of training camp 21 of the 32 first-round draft picks were unsigned. As of August 5, 2009 nine players drafted in the first-round are unsigned, six of the players were drafted in the top-ten. This seems more urgent to me being as a Niner fan and wanting Michael Crabtree to get into training camp as soon as possible. With the NFL owners opting out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement in May of this year you have to think with this year’s rookie class holding out, a rookie salary cap will be part of the negotiations. The NBA has a rookie salary cap scale that pays first round draft picks according to the number they were drafted. The first pick receivers more than the second, the second more than the third and so on. All NBA rookie contracts are for two years with team options for the third and fourth years. The NBA and any other sports league can impose rookie salary caps because, well, the only people they affect are those still in college which have no voice in the bargaining agreements. You can bet NFL owners will bring this up in negotiations and the NFL players union will say yes to give a concession to the oweners as they negotiate better terms for contracts of players already in the NFL.
The most talked about position in the NFL is at quarterback. QB’s more often than other positions get the highest contracts regardless of when they were drafted. The most difficult position for college players transitioning into the NFL is also at QB. With a rookie salary cap teams can sit potential NFL stars without having to worry about the pressures from the front office on getting a palyer in which the team has so much money invested onto the field to produce results. This goes for any position on the roster but the QB position produces the most draft busts. Remember Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, Akili Smith, Andre Ware, and Jim Druckenmiller (drafted 26th in first-round by the Niner’s )? The only thing these players are remembered for are NFL draft busts and the millions invested in them that were wasted. There have been plenty of other busts at other poistions most notably running back and wide receiver which compounds the issue. The NBA has shown the way for the NFL when how to deal with bloated rookie contracts and the potential for teams to lose millions of dollars on a player who has never proven anything in NFL.
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