May 21, 2008, 3:20 PM EDT
There seems to be some movement that might lead to the inclusion of a rookie wage scale in the next collective bargaining agreement. Kevin Mawae, Tennesse center, was on The Herd on ESPN Radio today and he had the following to say on the subject:
Mawae is no ordinary grunt popping off. He also happens to be the President of the NFL Players Association. That gives his words a bit more gravitas, if you will. When the subject came up in the weeks leading up to the draft, association head Gene Upshaw essentially said that any rookie wage scale proposal would be dead on arrival.
Upshaw hasn’t addressed the issue lately. He’s right that the huge paydays that the likes of Matt Ryan receive (6 years, $72 million, $34 million guaranteed) impact veterans. That’s $72 million that is not available to Falcons veterans who have, you know, actually played a down in the NFL. In addition, the big paydays for rookies run counter to the notion that bad teams are supposed to be able to better themselves through the draft. A team getting a top pick has to pay so much money to the new player that its ability to retain its core players and/or attract new free agents is seriously hampered.
Hopefully, this is not something that will become an issue for the Washington Redskins any time soon. They’ve had enough top 10 picks in the past 15 years or so. Still, fair is fair and the current system clearly is not fair.
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