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Old 08-03-2006, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Showing them the money

Showing them the money

By Jason Cole and Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports
August 2, 2006
The money is flowing for this year's first round picks, and that could be a problem.

For those not keeping close track, No. 1 pick Mario Williams of the Houston Texans, No. 2 pick Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints and No. 3 pick Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans each received more guaranteed money in their contracts than the No. 1 overall selection in 2005, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

Smith's somewhat complicated deal, which features a series of options and buybacks, amounts to $24 million guaranteed over six years. Williams got $26.5 million guaranteed over six years, Bush $26.3 million and Young $25.74 million.

The Young contract was particularly disconcerting to executives because it was such a sharp rise from the deal No. 3 pick Braylon Edwards got in 2005 from the Cleveland Browns. Edwards received $19.6 million.

The $6.14 million jump represents a 31-percent increase in guaranteed money and had a direct impact on the Bush negotiations, essentially forcing the Saints to pay the maximum amount of the guaranteed money possible. Thus, Tennessee's management took a shot from at least one other team executive.

"You can't legislate intelligence," the executive said.

At this rate, the NFL is also likely to see its first $30 million guarantee for a rookie by this time next year when the top picks of 2007 sign. In fact, the league might see its first, second and third.

Until now, only one player ? Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning ? has received a bonus of nearly that much. Manning got $34.5 million in 2004. But as one general manager pointed out, that was a "perfect storm" situation of a great player hitting the final year of his contract at the right time and under the right cap situation.

Bottom line, Manning earned the money.

"Now, we could have a situation where Brady Quinn (the Notre Dame quarterback who's the early favorite to become the No. 1 pick in 2007) comes into the league getting $30 million before he has done anything," the G.M. said. "That's scary for the teams and I think it's scary for some of the veterans."

A growing concern among veteran players has been the large shift in money to rookies drafted in the first round. While the NFL Players Association hasn't made a significant issue out of it, there are grumblings among the rank and file. At least six prominent players have asked their team's management about all the big money floating around for rookies and whether it might trickle to the veterans.

"I have to think that the veteran players are going to see that and start to ask what's going on," said one team official. "You're talking about a huge pool of money, maybe $500 million in potential earnings, going to the top 10 picks."

The knee-jerk reaction among some fans is that teams should simply refuse to pay. As one G.M. noted, that's not realistic. It's not the players' fault that the system is built this way. Nor would it be healthy for a team to simply refuse to sign a player because that takes a potentially great player away from the team.

Beyond that, teams aren't afraid to pay the money. After all, the NFL is in relatively sound financial health as the top sport in the country. But as many executives point out, the money continues to flood to the young instead of the old

How that gets fixed is a delicate problem. Slotting, such as the way the NBA does its contracts, is not terribly feasible in a game where so many players don't make it to their second contract.

As for further cap restrictions, the agent community continues to find ways around whatever rules the league writes. Clearly, it's an issue that will have to be resolved at the league and union level.
A draft pick or three getting $30,000,000 in GAURANTEED money??That's f'n outrageous!

I can't stand when a rookie holds out for more money.As a rookie you should get the league minimum with escaltors for your performance.The league minimum is more than most people would make in a year.Hell,I'd play for the league minimum EVERY year.

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Old 08-03-2006, 12:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Showing them the money

Every Rookie a few weeks before being drafted: "I'll play for any amount of money as long as I get a chance to play"
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Showing them the money

Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer
A draft pick or three getting $30,000,000 in GAURANTEED money??That's f'n outrageous!

I can't stand when a rookie holds out for more money.As a rookie you should get the league minimum with escaltors for your performance.The league minimum is more than most people would make in a year.Hell,I'd play for the league minimum EVERY year.
I've always had a problem with this. There should be structure for rookies for three reasons.

Protect organizations from breaking banks - the Vince Young deal was unique in that the owner is Texas Alum. And that deal is essentially retroactive pay from Longhorn Allumi for his college career - they finally got over on Bob Stoops and the Championship. That stunt f***s it up for other organizations going. And the bloodsucking AGENTS get all of the leverage.

Protects the product - high paid rookies that go bust leave the solid yet underpaid talent on those rosters forced to take deals they may not want to take. Meaning leaving a good team to go to a bad team just for the money. Teams that draft well should be rewarded.

Protects those who pay their dues - what you do in college matters only until the draft is over. After that you are just a punk ass rookie until you prove otherwise. The ones who deserve the sweet contracts are the Polamalu's in the NFL. Not the Ryan Leafs.

Time for the veterans to start policing it's leadership and work with the league to reign this in.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Showing them the money

These massive deals for untried rookie deals are also harming the whole ethos behind the draft in the first place.

Weaker teams are supposed to be given a leg up by being able to pick from the cream of college talent - what is actually happening is that they are signing themselves up for future salary cap hell in 3 or 4 years time just to get their rookies into camp - which is when their franchise should be turning the corner.

A wise franchise would trade out of the top 5 - they would catch a load of crap from all the talking heads and maybe their fans (who doesnt like their team picking up the 'sexy' draft pick?) but I think it would work out in the long run.

Teams like New Orleans and San Fran dont have a single weakspot on their team than can be plugged by an overpaid 'Superstar' college player of negligible worth for the first 2/3 years - what they need is multiple talented mid range rookies who wont break the bank.

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Old 08-08-2006, 12:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Showing them the money

that is why lots of players never want to be steelers cause they are greedy. if we would of taken someone like bush he would of got a box of chocolates and a food stamp.
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