NFL Rookie Contracts: How Much is Too Much?

Master TesfatsionContributor IJuly 31, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  Quarterback Sam Bradford of the Oklahoma Sooners holds up a St. Louis Rams jersey as he stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Bradford was picked numer 1 overall by the Rams during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

With first overall pick Sam Bradford signing a luxurious six-year, $78 million deal, and $50 million being guaranteed, he has set the record for the most guaranteed money in NFL history.

Having the potential to reach $86 million, Bradford becomes one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

Something doesn't sound right.

He has yet to take a snap in a NFL game, a preseason game, and not even in training camp.

The same thing happened last year with first overall pick Matthew Stafford signing a six-year, $72 million deal with $41.7 guaranteed and the potential to reach $78 million. 

Given there is no lockout, we can expect a quarterback picked first overall to receive a $100 million deal in two years.

What exactly have they done to deserve this again?

Granted, Stafford and Bradford have the potential to turn their franchises around, but with the recent news of JaMarcus Russell being released by the Oakland Raiders, Rodger Goodell needs to take action regarding first round salaries.

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The Raiders sacrificed their future in the hands of JaMarcus Russell, and expected him to flourish—rather, he set the franchise back.

The Detroit Lions and the St. Louis Rams are putting all they have in their investment. Think about the possible free agents they could've signed if Bradford and Stafford signed half or two-thirds the contracts they received?

Joe Flacco signed a five-year, $11.9 million contract in 2008. Proving more than Stafford and Bradford combined, his bank account proves otherwise.

Goodell has to do something about this. It's not right for the teams and it's not right for the players.

Agents are dictating the field, when performance should.

What the Rams going to do if Bradford's shoulder isn't completely healed as perceived from his workouts?

What are the Lions going to do if Stafford's knee injury never heals to the way it once was?

Rather than putting all the money out on line to get them in camp, there needs to be a rookie cap system in place.

Similar to the franchise tag, players would make a certain amount of money based off their position for the first two years.

After the two years, their performance, the franchise, and their agent can dictate their salary for the other three or four years.

Although this is just a recommendation, something has to be done before Player X receives $100 million for being a bust and keeping a franchise in a slump for years to come.