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Old 06-25-2009   #1
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Default Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

I wasn't sure where to post this, so I posted here because it's Eric Winston's perspective.

He gives a few thoughts on the rookie wage scale that has recently been talked about. Most of what he says is likely true, but there's one thing that kept bugging me while reading his blog. He states:

Quote:
I would be surprised if any massive changes are made. After all, if the owners really want to get something done, they could just start giving rookies way less money. Remember, they don’t have to pay that money, they choose to.
While this may be true, what are the odds of 1st round rookie A signing a contract that would be more suited for a rookie? Slim if you ask me. There would be holdouts throughout the League if owners elected to lower the amount of money currently offered to rookies. Maybe I'm off base here, but the damage has been done. The League and the Union are the only one's that could bring change. Otherwise, there'd be a continuous stand off between the rookies drafted and the owners.

Thoughts?

http://affiliate.kickapps.com/_Rooki...idgetId=171476
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Old 06-25-2009   #2
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

I think there should be a rookie cap. It's a little ridiculous that these kids are getting paid an absolute shit-ton of money before even placing a cleat on the field. Performance based contracts could cure some problems.

I'm sure you will have issues with implementing it. The first year they did it would piss off a lot of incoming rookies but hey, someone has to be the first to get bent over.
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Old 06-25-2009   #3
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Not to mention veteran player's feelings about rookie holdouts. I just don't see it happening on the owner's side alone without some sort of input that legimizes it from the union side.

Something NEEDS to be done about it too.
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Old 06-25-2009   #4
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
While this may be true, what are the odds of 1st round rookie A signing a contract that would be more suited for a rookie? Slim if you ask me. There would be holdouts throughout the League if owners elected to lower the amount of money currently offered to rookies. Maybe I'm off base here, but the damage has been done. The League and the Union are the only one's that could bring change. Otherwise, there'd be a continuous stand off between the rookies drafted and the owners.

Thoughts?

http://affiliate.kickapps.com/_Rooki...idgetId=171476
Frankly there might be some violation if the owners did get together and agree "with this upcoming draft class we are all halving the money from the last draft for the top 10." If only individual teams do it, nothing will change.

This needs to be a collectively bargained deal. Frankly I don't know why the players fight it at all. It would only really affect the top of the 1st round.
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Old 06-25-2009   #5
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Frankly there might be some violation if the owners did get together and agree "with this upcoming draft class we are all halving the money from the last draft for the top 10." If only individual teams do it, nothing will change.

This needs to be a collectively bargained deal. Frankly I don't know why the players fight it at all. It would only really affect the top of the 1st round.
Agreed. I'm not sure they'd go about laying out a deal that would only affect half of the 1st round, or the entire 1st round for that matter.
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Old 06-25-2009   #6
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

At the very least, the league could "step down" the 1st round money each year...so that 5 years from now, you reach the amount for 1st rounders that would otherwise get implemented immediately.

Think of it in terms of the pool: Inch your way into the water so that your body gets acclimated to it. Instead of plunging into the deep end. While we all know it's better to plunge in and get it over with, there's a psychological factor that says it's better to ease into the pool. So instead of shocking the systems of the widdle biddy college players, take small bites out of 'em.

Reduce the 1st round money by 25% each year, and in year 5 you'll have rookies who have had the past four years to get adjusted to what's coming. Additionally, no single draft class is slapped with the entire salary plunge. Everybody gets to keep their manhood. Nobody's "dissed."

Whoever devised the rookie pay scale is dumb. The rookie HAS to play; he HAS to get into the league. He should take what he's given, at a level that gets him started financially but yet that's also respectable toward the guys who have been in the league and have stayed in the league. We have guys who aren't in the league anymore who are set for life. And the owners are OK with that? They need to get this handled.
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Old 06-25-2009   #7
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
Agreed. I'm not sure they'd go about laying out a deal that would only affect half of the 1st round, or the entire 1st round for that matter.
I think there needs to be a tier system for picks 1-10, 11-15, 16-20, and 21-end of round 1.

What that breaks down to, is beyond me. But I think there's a natural inclination to say "Top 10" gets the biggest chunk beginning with pick 1 and then stair-stepping down to pick number 10.

Then you've got guys at picks 11-15 who juuuuust missed out on Top 10 money, but yet they get their own tier and it's a pretty generous amount for guys falling to slots 11,12,13,14, and 15. Nice consolation prize that gives those guys some prestige and doesn't hammer them for those times when a team passes on them just because of the team's position needs vs. that guy's projected draft position. Hope that makes sense!

Then, you dip down a but more for picks 16-20.

Picks 21-end of 1st round are guys who were not going to be Top 15, and questionable if they would have even made Top 20. The difference from picks 21-end of round & what the 2nd rounders would make would not be that far off from each other. Late 1st rounders, IMO, are practically 2nd rounders anyways.
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Old 06-25-2009   #8
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Txn_in_NC View Post
Performance based contracts could cure some problems.
What, getting paid by how much you are worth on the field?

WTF kind of thinking is that?
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Old 06-25-2009   #9
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post

While this may be true, what are the odds of 1st round rookie A signing a contract that would be more suited for a rookie? Slim if you ask me. There would be holdouts throughout the League if owners elected to lower the amount of money currently offered to rookies.
Thoughts?

http://affiliate.kickapps.com/_Rooki...idgetId=171476
Personally, I say screw them. Let them hold out.

But, teams at the top of the draft are so desperate, that they really need the rookies to sign, and get to business. They need them to perform right away.

So like you, I don't think it will ever happen.
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Old 06-25-2009   #10
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Frankly there might be some violation if the owners did get together and agree "with this upcoming draft class we are all halving the money from the last draft for the top 10." If only individual teams do it, nothing will change.

This needs to be a collectively bargained deal. Frankly I don't know why the players fight it at all. It would only really affect the top of the 1st round.
Collusion is not always a bad thing.
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Old 06-26-2009   #11
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

I ended up sending EW a message asking the same question. Whether he actually replies to it or even receives it is unknown.
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Old 06-26-2009   #12
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Cool Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Frankly there might be some violation if the owners did get together and agree "with this upcoming draft class we are all halving the money from the last draft for the top 10." If only individual teams do it, nothing will change.
Exactly what I was thinking - weren't MLB player sscreaming collusion this summer?

I can't imagine it going well if the NLF Owners came to an unspoken decision LET ALONE an actual agreement.
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Old 06-26-2009   #13
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

My understanding is the new union leader is willing to negotiate new rules for rookies. It is true that the owners get into these binds as they can not police themselves.
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Old 06-26-2009   #14
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by badboy View Post
My understanding is the new union leader is willing to negotiate new rules for rookies. It is true that the owners get into these binds as they can not police themselves.
The problem is that you have a monopoly/monopsony when negotiating with draft picks. When we drafted Cushing, we gave up our right to negotiate within anyone else with that level of draft desirability. Now, Cushing has us over a barrel: if we don't pay his price, there is no way we can get a comparable talent at this stage. This is not a "police themselves" situation. It is instead the fact that they are stuck negotiating with that particular player and cannot credibly walk away from a deal.

The best way to negotiate is to act like you can walk away from the deal at any point. Teams are stuck with their draft picks (and vice-versa).

Gene Upshaw was categorically opposed to a rookie wage scale. He was more adamant about that than his rank-and-file (after all, the yet-to-be-drafted don't have a vote in the union). If the new guy is indeed more flexible, that may indeed be a way towards peace.
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Old 06-26-2009   #15
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooston Texan View Post
The problem is that you have a monopoly/monopsony when negotiating with draft picks. When we drafted Cushing, we gave up our right to negotiate within anyone else with that level of draft desirability. Now, Cushing has us over a barrel: if we don't pay his price, there is no way we can get a comparable talent at this stage. This is not a "police themselves" situation. It is instead the fact that they are stuck negotiating with that particular player and cannot credibly walk away from a deal.

The best way to negotiate is to act like you can walk away from the deal at any point. Teams are stuck with their draft picks (and vice-versa).
The flip side is Cushing can't walk away and get paid at all.
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Old 06-28-2009   #16
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Txn_in_NC View Post
I think there should be a rookie cap. It's a little ridiculous that these kids are getting paid an absolute shit-ton of money before even placing a cleat on the field. Performance based contracts could cure some problems.
Only a handful or so get disproportionate contracts. One aspect that tends to get lost in the argument is that these players are forced to negotiate with one team. They would have to miss an entire season if they refuse to sign, and would still face the same circumstance the next season.

Even if the draft were done away with, some rookies would get monster deals. Say all college players are free agents once the become eligible to play in the NFL (3 years after high school). Don't you think that guys like Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, Mario Williams, and even Reggie Bush would have commanded top $$$ as free agents? Of course they would have. In some circumstances, more than they obtained as a drafted player. And for every overpaid rookie (like a Bush), there are multiple bargains like Steve Slaton who outperform their contracts.

And frankly, bad teams should be forced to take some risk of high $$$ contracts while reaping the rewards of obtaining the most valued college prospects. For me, the bemoaning about rookie contracts is much ado about nothing.
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Old 06-28-2009   #17
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Txn_in_NC View Post
I think there should be a rookie cap. It's a little ridiculous that these kids are getting paid an absolute shit-ton of money before even placing a cleat on the field. Performance based contracts could cure some problems.

I'm sure you will have issues with implementing it. The first year they did it would piss off a lot of incoming rookies but hey, someone has to be the first to get bent over.
And the draft the year before that rule comes in will be chocca full of players declaring as early as possible and the year after the talent maybe thin on the ground.
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Old 06-28-2009   #18
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

OK, just for the sake of argument, if a rookie salary cap is put in place, and the owners pay less money for rookies, where does the money go that they would have spent before the cap?

If the owners think they can just keep it in their pockets, you can bet the players union will not accept that for a second. So, does that mean all the experienced players suddenly get a raise? Just wondering how it would work.

I am on the side of a rookie salary cap as they get to damn much money for having produced nothing as of yet, but I honestly have no idea of how such a thing could be implemented.
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Old 06-28-2009   #19
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Default Re: Rookie Wages: Winston Explains his Side

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I am on the side of a rookie salary cap as they get to damn much money for having produced nothing as of yet, but I honestly have no idea of how such a thing could be implemented.
First, there already is a collective rookie salary cap pool from which teams are not allowed to go over. The amount of the pool is determined by the number of picks made by the team and where the selections were made.

Now, a team cannot exceed their rookie pool cap number, but there is nothing in the CBA that says that a team has to offer any more than the minimum rookie contract to any draftee. So, a team could offer all of their picks the minimum. Or the top pick all of the rookie pool minus the minimum salaries to the other players. Or they could give all of their pool to their 7th round pick and forfeit their rights to the other draftees. It's to the discretion of the team how the money is allotted.

What has been suggested is to reduce the overall contract amount and guaranteed $$$ to the top rookies. In theory, that money would flow to the proven veterans. But, the reality is that the top veterans who become free agents already get what the market will bear. The real limiting factor to veteran players are the franchise tags that can be placed on them. And that's where these high $$$ rookie contracts actually help these tagged vets.

When a Mario Williams or a Jake Long enter the league and become a top 3 player at their position (in terms of cap hit), the franchise tag amount rises. This serves the veteran player in two ways. One, the franchise tag carries more $$$ to the tagged vet. And two, the increase in the cost of the franchise tag to the team becomes a deterrent in using said tag. So when a top rookie hits a big payday before ever stepping on the field, it has a ripple effect to the top players who are considered vital to a team's success.
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