Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Pats726, May 29, 2006.
Simply put, this is about giving the vets more and the rookies less.
To put into perspective.
Let's say that every team has 58 players make its 53-man roster, PUP or IR after all th cuts are done. 58*32=1856.
Let's also that out of the 58 players that 11 of them are rookies. 11 of 58 = 18.97%. 11*32=352
The total cap limit for 32 teams is $3,284,461,170.
The rookie pool limit for the 255 draft picks is $133,382,411. Let's add $30 million to that to cover the costs of the salaries of the 97 UDFAs (3 per team). That gives us $163,382,411, which is less than 5% of the total cap limit.
In other words, 18.97% of the players (rookies) are taking up 5% of the total cap space.
For the most part, the aggregate contract amounts seem fair. What I don't understand is why an Alex Smith, before the cap increase, gets a contract in the ballpark of a Tom Brady. Isn't that a little too risky for an unproved player who hasn't done squat in this league?
No one has shown that the money that will be given to the draft picks this year is preventing veterans from getting more money.
Let's use our favorite team as an example.
Currently, the Patriots are under the cap by $16.8 million. Because of the Top 51 rule it will take $1.8 million in cap space to sign the 2006 draft class.
Let's set aside $1.25 million a a reserve to replace injured players during the season.
Let's set aside another $1.25 million to sign players 52,53 and have a 8-man practice squad.
$12.5 million in cap space.
IMO, one can not say that the money devoted to Maroney, Chad Jackson is preventing veterans like Troy Brown or Tedy from getting raises.
1st round rookie contracts should be capped each year - tiered accordingly for where they were picked.
You'd say it can never happen because the agents wouldn't stand for it but I say that in addition to the capped bonus and base contracts, agents, players and teams could/should create some positive incentives (perhaps "likely to be earned" assessments could be waived for rookies as well - since one never really knows what a rookie will do)
A bigger issue for me, is in this day and age of parity, perennial bad teams getting "saddled" with top 3 picks are at a competitive disadvantage cap wise given rookie contracts.
The "top" picking team IMO should be able to choose when it picks, based on the draft and its deemed value for the pick.
Successive top 5 picks that eat up $ and don't pan out can kill a team for a long time.
You're talking cap while others are talking contract and cash. You are also talking about a team that doesn't get to pick in the top ten but rarely and hasn't had a top 3-5 pick to absorb in the BB era. And a team that eschews the big money hype based deals across the board and asks veterans at the top to take a little less or resist the impulse to insist they raise the bar personally so that their team can afford to pay a little more for a solid middle class. Apples and oranges.
We do it the way the league should. To protect them (and us) from the consequences of many not having the intestinal fortitude to do it as a matter of good business sense, or have the NFLPA cry collusion, the league would have to cap these deals and use the money as Trent Green suggests to expand the compensation pool to reward those who have outperformed their existing contracts. Youngsters drafted later or UDFA's, journeymen who are the backbone of the league, and grizzled veterans who are often still outperforming these bonus babies for a fraction of the take home pay.
You see NEM would simply pay everyone less.
You see NEM would simply pay everyone less. He probably would control ticket prices as well as salaries.
Why stop with a fixed prices for rookeis based on position in the draft? Why not protect teams from paying veterans huge amounts of money when other veterans can do the job for less? Surely, Givens was grossly overpaid. Why not simply have a scale for all players based on years played, and have a compensation pot of money available for those that overperformed. That way, teams like the patriots wouldn't have the unfair advantage of wisely managing the cap.
No one has established that "overpaying" the top 10 has any effect on veterans at all. There are much more than 10 veterans who might be considered overpaid, and ovf course some of the top 10 will be bargains, even at the amounts they are paid.
If the issue is having more money available for veterans so that teams don't cut them for rooks, then increase the amount veterans can be paid and count very little against the cap (as has been done a couple of times).
And just BTW, how much is the best college prospect "worth"? These top ten have beaten out millions to get to where they are, for no pay. How much should I pay a potential franchise QB? Is the right answer really a million or so until he proves himself? Nonsense!
Also, have you all simply ignored the rookie salary cap?
With regard to compensation, we have a league that works! There are many contributers: free agency, overall and ROOKIE salary caps, compensation pool for overachievers, cap adjustments for veterans based on number of years, the wiaver system (favoring weak teams), the practice squad (making many players available to weak teams and jobs available to a couple of hundred players.
THE PERCEIVED PROBLEM
Some top ten rookies are worth what they are paid. Is that it? Is there more?
And, of course, it is not all the top 10. The patriots have had some bargain top 10 picks, certainly Seymour and McGinist.
The idea that we can reduce the number of busts by paying them less is silly at best. And why would we want to reduce the number of busts. Part of the value of any management is the ability to judge the ability of players BEFORE they've played.
THE BOTTOM LINE
At least 245 of the 255 rookies are underpaid, not overpaid. The rookies are locked in for at least three years (and in reality four) at bargain prices. If they fail, they are simply fired. Few out of the first round have significant bonuses. The players fought to INCREASE rookie compensation by shortening the years of the contracts.
Yes, the contract cost for the top 10 are very high, especially since with the six year contract limit. The patriots would know how to deal with this so-called problem. We would draft a player who would be odds on to succeed (like McGinist or Seymour). And no, we would be unlikely to be so desparate that we would draft a Bush.
Let's talk contract and cash. Patriots veterans still can't complain that the cash spent on the 2006 rookies is money that would have gone to them.
There is already such a program
Around April 24 there was a report in a San Diego paper that 30 teams (Browns and Vikings were not included) had about $278 million in cap space left. Because of the Top 51 rule, even though the rookie pool is $133 million the net cap effect of signing all of the 255 drafted rookies and the UDFAs should be max $63 million. $278-$63=$215 million left in cap space. Does cap space equal contract and bonus money?? No, but $215 million in cap space pretty much negates the argument that teams will not have money to spend on veterans because of what they spent on the rookies.
Ironically, the system as it is benefits a team like the Patriots, that is generally a perennial 1st round "value pick" from the mid-teens on down at "best" (frankly I always prefer picking #32 each year.
If you have a smart front office you find starters in that group for decent money.
Perennial "bad" teams picking in the top 10 could either get a "Richard Seymour" or "Ryan Leaf"...
In the worst case scenario you've devoted a ton of money to a worthless player.... and even in the best situation, with multiple "Seymours" you can't afford to carry them all long term anyway...
So Kraft and the Patriots would benefit from the status quo - but apparently the other teams aren't smart enough to see how change could benefit them.
Again, I'm talking actual cash payroll, not cap. And not slashing rookie salaries or contracts, just capping insane signing bonus payouts to players who have yet to set foot on the field. Remember, playing in the NFL is not a birthright. That they have focused their efforts through HS and college on that goal is a matter of choice. And while they may not get paid, those who succeed at that level get a free education and lots of perks and contacts others in their class do not.
Teams would of course remain free to shower whatever insane bonuses they choose on veteran players - at least they know that they can play in this league, and whether they continue to produce after cashing in is another whole matter.
Joe hit it dead on in one of his posts - saddling an underperforming team with year after year of these draft bonus babies is not a recipe for parity. Collect enough of them and it eventually chokes not just your cash flow but your cap whether they pan out or not.
I am well aware that the compensation program exists. As is Trent Green. He wants to see it expanded to include underpaid journeymen and veterans, not just youngsters who outperform their recent draft status. In a league where contracts aren't worth the paper they are printed on minus signing bonus, it would create something of a merit based safety net. And he would fund that by capping hype driven rookie bonuses to untested college players. Not eliminating them, god forbid, just capping them at rational levels.
So again, why not make a simple change. The team with the #1 pick gets to choose where it picks in the draft.
Most years that might be #1 - #3. But maybe its a particularly weak draft. The team shouldn't be penalized by being forced to use a #1 pick, paying a salary that was largely set by the previous year's draft. Maybe they see plenty of similar value from picks 5 - 15 - and opt for #10 because they don't want to devote so much salary cap to just one player at #1.
If having the #1 pick is supposed to "help" a team, letting that team decide what the best value pick for them is seems to make sense.
Other teams would follow suit - with the #2 team getting to choose where it picks.
There's a risk involved for those teams opting to pick later of course, as some of their targeted players won't be there, but this strikes me as a good compromise
To say "rookies" are paid too much is inaccurate. Second day draft picks and UDFA's are the greatest bargains in the NFL, and can be locked up for a long time. The pay-scale problem only exists at the top of the draft, where some teams would rather trade down than be forced to overpay a high draft choice. Most teams would love to stock up on 2nd and 3rd round picks, which are affordable and don't have to be paid a fortune.
If anything it is the vets that are overpaid and the rookies are severly underpaid. That is a major reason why the axiom "you build your team through the draft" is so true.
AllAbouttheVinces is right. In fact the real problem is that rookies and FA are underpaid. I beleive there was some thoughts to establishing a minimum salary in the latets CBA but it got left out.
I know a lot of folks don't care that an UDFA is making only $150K a year. But if that guy only plays two years and has to live the rest of his life with serious injuries it's not that great a deal. YOu get hit by a car and mess up your knee you're going to get a lot more than $300K.
From pages 56 and 57 of the http://www.nflpa.org/PDFs/Shared/20...y_Averages_&_Signing_Trends_November_2005.pdf
one sees that in 2005 543 players were considered rookies (please note that the NFLPA is including PS players) and that 338 were considered to be in their 2nd season. From page 155 there was a total of 1,876 players in the NFL and they received in cash a total of $2,619,224,679. The 1,812 players received in cash $470,722,890. In other words, 47% of the players (rookies or 2nd year players) received 18% of the cash.
Tell that to the 2005 Bengals. From 1999 to 2003 they had a Top 10 pick. Once they got Marvin Lewis, they stopped having a losing record.
The performance-based program covers every player in the NFL. While I am sure that you know that the PBP program does not hit the cap, others may not.
A distinction should be made in any response - and perhaps in a differently phrased question, as to whether 1st round draft choices are overpaid
I'd generally agree that 2nd round draft choices on down represent tremendous value... and with good reason as even future great players need time to develop and might not produce for 1, 2, even 3 years while taking a roster spot and getting paid more than most of us on this board put together
It's the guaranteed money based on potential alone - and not production - that creates the perception of being overpaid - and that's most apparent even only in the top 10 picks too.
So if I could wave a wand I'd even out the baseline salaries among the 1st round picks, but allowing them to make up the lost cash by meeting incentives
That seems like a win win situation to me
I would agree on looking at the top choices...making way way too much..and the UDFAs...lower picks making too little.. That is why when one looks at it in total, it is a low percentage of total money. I agree..maybe flatten out a bit more of the top rounds..fatten the UDFAs a bit more.. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that it is MORE the top picks..that are overpayed..(and what is outrageous..) than any of the others. I agree..the magic wand might be win-win..
The thing is, the money is not guaranteed. A player gets hurt the first game of the year and his career is over and all they have is their signing bonus.
People really need to take the envy, for lack of a better term, out of this thought process. The notion that "well these guys make more money than I ever will" is not germaine. Guess what? a lot of people make more than you or I ever will and for far less dangerous, entertaining or worthwhile jobs. We can talk about the Exxon execs thay are making a billion dollars a year for doing very little other than polluting the envirnment and sticking it to working class folks in order to buy that third yacht and seventh summer home. All because their daddy got them a job, not because of countless hours of blood and sweat.
There was an good article a few years back about how picking in the top 10 can actually hurt a team for the very reason that it ties up so much cap money, especially when a QB is involved. The ironic thing is that article cited the Bengals who were strapped with the contracts of Akili Smith, Peter Warrick etc. Of course the Bengals turned it around when they picked Palmer first. And even then they decided he was underpaid and signed him to a more lucrative. longterm deal. So even then, it comes down to drafting well. No matter where you pick in the first round that player better be an impact player. The stakes go up proprtionally as you get closer to the #1 pick but that's should be wlecome.
Remember too, teams cane always trade down, most usually can't withstand the temptation of the top stars.
And I would argue that only in rare instances, do rookies contribute more than 5% to the success of the team. The system definately pays based on potential rather than merit for most rookies, which is why the average career is less than 4 years. Most players will be flushed out by their 4th year unless they can reach their potential.
Not a true statement. They will be paid more than their signing bonus.
A player who is injured (due to football) cannot be cut, therefore, he is paid his contract as long as he is hurt. Some contracts will offer an injury settlement, where a team can buy-out an injured player.
sounds like rookies are way underpaid.
Update - The latest cap update has the 32 teams with over 282 million in cap space. And that's including the cap effect of the signing of 2 draft picks (Mario Williams and Willie Colon).
I'm still waiting for someone to show that the money that will be spent on rookies is preventing current veterans from getting more money.
Mario Williams got $0 for a signing bonus.
Several 2005 1st round draft picks also got zero signing bonuses.
You can not ask for a lower signing bonus.
But Miguel, you're trying to use numbers to explain things! Obviously opinion matters a lot more than FACTS in this forum!
You know as well as I do that according to reports almost half of Mario's 6 year $54M contract ($26.5M) is guaranteed and will be paid to him in his first two seasons, and that equals or exceeds what he would have netted with a $20M+++ signing bonus and 2 years of minimum salaries. He will possibly see more $$$ than probowler Richard Seymour over the 2006 and 2007 seasons, not bad for a kid just out of college who has never set foot on an NFL field.
What did Bob Kraft propose during the last CBA negotiations?? As far as anyone on this board can tell, nothing. That is telling, IMO. I do not recall any talk of a rookie scale in March.
A lot of folks know that a UDFA will make $275K this year.
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