At last concessions had been made and an agreement in principal was reached on the terms of the new rookie wage scale that will factor into the 2011 rookie classes salaries.
While both sides wrestled with the rookie wage scale for some time it seemed to be a major sticking point for a few days the general terms were finally agreed upon and let loose for us all to feast upon. Here are the terms for you all to devour…in a nutshell:
According to sources, the terms agreed to on the rookie wage system are, in part, as follows:
• 1st round picks five-year contracts, with a team option for the fifth year which has to be exercised after year 3.
• If the team option is exercised, in the fifth year the top 10 picks would receive a salary equal to the average of the top 10 player salaries at their respective positions. That money would be guaranteed if the option is exercised after the third year of the contract.
• If the team option is exercised, in the fifth year picks 11-32 would receive a salary equal to the average of the Nos. 3-25 salaries at their respective positions. That money would be guaranteed if the option is exercised after the third year of the contract.
While it is unclear exactly where the starting wage for the number one pick will be decided and how that wage is calculated it’s rumored that Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers will receive a 5 year deal worth some where in the neighborhood of $35M.
This is much less than what last year’s No. 1 pick, Sam Bradford, received a six-year, $78 million contract with $50 million guaranteed. It will be interesting to see how much guaranteed money Newton gets. Could be some where around $22-25M.
This could leave J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans nailing down anything around $12M-$14M with $7M-$8M of that guaranteed. Offensive tackle Anthony Davis of the 49ers, Watt’s draft counterpart last year signed a 5 year $26.5M deal.
What we don’t know is if the wage cuts will be across the board for rounds 1-7 or if the wage cuts get progressively less for players that are drafted in the later rounds.
Second round pick Brooks Reed, who was picked forty-second overall could expect &2.5-$3.5M over three years if the wage cuts are across the board but could essentially could end up with more if, in fact ,2nd through 7th round picks can negotiate their contracts. Rob Gronkowski 2010’s forty-second overall pick received $4.44M over four years.
Of course all the contracts starting with the overall 33rd pick would be relative to what pick number 32 of the first round received and then probably fall in to order from there.
The rookie wage scale was never really intended for rounds 2nd through 7th so many of those contracts could end up being close to what they were last year.
All teams will operate under a designated dollar amount for rookie wages league wide and that number is somewhere between $825M – $865M per year, which ends up being around $27M a year per team to sign rookies.
Hope this helps, we tried our best to break it down into layman terms and know this is all about as exciting as a Warren Sapp versus Charles barkley foot race but some of you asked for it along with the foot race.