NFL Draft 2011: How Could Rookie Wage Scale Change the Draft?
Atlanta Falcons Draft: Late first-round picks wouldn't be affected nearly as much:
There is plenty of pressure involved in picking in the first round of the NFL Draft. Teams want top draft picks to not only develop into key players, but they want it to happen relatively quickly in most cases.
First-round drafting, especially in the top 10, has become even more pressure-packed due to the 10s of millions of dollars immediately guaranteed those prospects. In 2010, No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford signed a $78 million contract with $50 million guaranteed before playing a down for the St. Louis Rams.
What's more, the number goes up every year. Matthew Stafford received a $72 million contract with $41.7 million in 2009. That's a five percent increase in one year.
Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez believes that a rookie wage scale would be a vast improvement under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, reports D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
It likely wouldn't affect the Falcons in 2011 too much considering they pick 27th overall and the guaranteed money is greatly diminished by that point. Still, players use their draft position compared to other contracts as leverage for more money. If the 26th pick makes x amount of dollars and the 28th pick makes x amount of dollars, the 27th pick expects to be somewhere in between.
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