Tonight Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams agreed to a six year $78 million deal with a record $50 million dollars guaranteed. This would be OK in many people's eyes if he was a proven star, but he hasn't even thrown a pass in the NFL yet, and is recovering from a shoulder injury.
The rookie wage scale has become a major problem that the NFL must deal with soon. In many cases a top 10 pick in the NFL draft can receive more guaranteed money than a star veteran on the free agent market. It's gotten to the point that some teams don't even want these top picks because they know that the cost of the player might not be worth the value he provides on the field. So many teams even prefer picking in the late first or early second round as they can get better value for their money.
A possible solution to the problem could be instituting a rookie cap on salary and/or length of contract. This could be adjusted yearly and would harness the amount of money that a rookie can be paid.
With the average NFL career three or four years, I understand that the players want to get their money now, so they have something to lean on. But a league that rewards players who have not yet paid their due, more than those players who have, has something so fundamentally wrong with it, a fix must occur soon.