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Old 01-17-2011, 09:10 AM   #1
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Default Underclassmen will greatly affect draft again

Here is a great article on the Draft, underclassmen, and rookie Wage scale effects on it this year. This should help answer all the questions about why this draft WILL be different from previous years:

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In one sense, a simple sentence sums up this year's underclassmen situation: The Panthers have no Luck.

As in Stanford junior QB Andrew Luck, who decided to bypass the opportunity to become a no-brainer No. 1 overall section by Carolina in the 2011 draft and remain in school for his senior season.

But in another sense — although underclassmen technically have until the end of the day Monday to change their minds and opt out — close draft observers around the league expect a record number of underclassmen to declare their eligibility for the '11 draft.

"Underclassmen could set a record for early entrants this season and appear to be more strongly represented at the very top of the draft than ever before," said one well-connected league personnel evaluator. "The senior class has continued to water down with the increasing trend the last three years."

It's a trend that has increased despite the very real possibility of a prolonged lockout and a rookie wage scale, which could significantly alter the rookie contracts likely to be covered by any new labor agreement.

"If a wage scale is in place, it's going to become more like the NBA with slotted deals, and there will not be the same looming threat of holdouts that the league has always had," one league executive told PFW.

"And that's good for the game. If two players are graded closely, we take into consideration relations we've had with the agent. Some agents are very difficult to deal with. I don't think it will be much of a factor moving forward (if a wage scale is put in place)."

The rest is here: http://www.profootballweekly.com/201...ct-draft-again
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:20 AM   #2
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Without reading the whole article, there are two parts I just don't understand:

1. Why is the record for # of underclassmen declaring going to be broken this year and not last, when last year was the last time they could in theory really cash in under the old rules? They had every reason in the world to come out last year and not a single reason to come out this year.

2. It says: "If a wage scale is in place, it's going to become more like the NBA with slotted deals, and there will not be the same looming threat of holdouts that the league has always had," one league executive told PFW.

But there always has been a rookie wage scale in place. Aside from the slotted numbers in theory going down instead of going up, this will be nothing new.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
Without reading the whole article, there are two parts I just don't understand:

1. Why is the record for # of underclassmen declaring going to be broken this year and not last, when last year was the last time they could in theory really cash in under the old rules? They had every reason in the world to come out last year and not a single reason to come out this year.

2. It says: "If a wage scale is in place, it's going to become more like the NBA with slotted deals, and there will not be the same looming threat of holdouts that the league has always had," one league executive told PFW.

But there always has been a rookie wage scale in place. Aside from the slotted numbers in theory going down instead of going up, this will be nothing new.
1. You need to read the whole article. The number of underclassmen declaring has gone up the last 3 years in a row. That means all the seniors are the watered down ones who did not declare in those larger classes.

2. There is a rookie Salary cap, NOT a rookie wage scale. Teams are alloted a certain amount of dollars based on their draft positions to use on signing ALL of their draft class. Now, the rookies will make whatever amount of their draft pick is slotted and their will be no haggling with agents over the amount or terms. It will be you were draft 15th and you get the rookie allotment for the 15th pick. No negotiating for rookie contracts anymore.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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1. You need to read the whole article. The number of underclassmen declaring has gone up the last 3 years in a row. That means all the seniors are the watered down ones who did not declare in those larger classes.
I've been through it all and do understand that the trend in recent years has been that more underclassmen are declaring year-by-year. Still doesn't really answer my question about this particular year though. I would just think, logically, that last year would've been the peak and this would be the first year of bucking the trend. Why? Because there is no real $ incentive to come out this year and there are two HUGE negatives.

1. The potential new salary and bonus structure sucks.
2. The very real chance that they may not even be able to make a penny if there's a lockout.

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2. There is a rookie Salary cap, NOT a rookie wage scale.
Semantics. A cap serves the same purpose essentially as a scale when 95% of the rookies are essentially signing the same contract as the guy drafted in their slot the year before plus whatever the year-by-year increase in the rookie salary cap works out to.

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Teams are alloted a certain amount of dollars based on their draft positions to use on signing ALL of their draft class. Now, the rookies will make whatever amount of their draft pick is slotted and their will be no haggling with agents over the amount or terms. It will be you were draft 15th and you get the rookie allotment for the 15th pick. No negotiating for rookie contracts anymore.
I know that this is the goal at least. But it is a different argument. This is tough to word properly, but I'll try.

The system described in the article is a very specific "flat fee/no haggle Saturn" buying experience. I get that. That's all well and good, but it's not what I'm questioning. What I'm questioning is the author's implication that there is not a de facto wage scale in place now. There is IMO. There is an amount they can't go over. Just because there are negotiations over the structure of the contract itself doesn't mean there isn't a scale they have to use and fit into.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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I guess underclassmen are being advised this is their last chance to cash in before a lockout?

What I understand is there will be a draft no matter what. Come hell or high water, there will be a draft. There might be no FA, nor trades, but there will definitely be a draft.

So, I guess the underclassmen are being advised to come out now, because they'll be able to lock in a deal before a new CBA is in place. I'm asking, I don't know.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
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I guess underclassmen are being advised this is their last chance to cash in before a lockout?

What I understand is there will be a draft no matter what. Come hell or high water, there will be a draft. There might be no FA, nor trades, but there will definitely be a draft.

So, I guess the underclassmen are being advised to come out now, because they'll be able to lock in a deal before a new CBA is in place. I'm asking, I don't know.
nope. It's been confirmed that, yes, the draft will happen on time and as usual; however, no team can actually sign their draft picks to a contract until the new CBA is agreed to and signed. Last year was their last chance to cash in.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
Semantics. A cap serves the same purpose essentially as a scale when 95% of the rookies are essentially signing the same contract as the guy drafted in their slot the year before plus whatever the year-by-year increase in the rookie salary cap works out to.
Not sure it's just symantics. If anything a wage scale will help lower picks get more money since in theory, with a first round wage scale, less money will go to the higher picks (especially if it's a super high pick like #1 or #2). I'm wondering that if there is a wage scale, the owners will also say that a lower cap is in order too. Otherwise all the wage scale does is insure lower round picks get more money...
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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The players contracts were slotted, yes Beantown, but they were slotted based on who was in front and behind them and adjusted off position and what the player at their slot made the year before. This is why every rookie wanted a QB to go first overall every year so they could demand proportionately more at their slot. The percentage growth from one year to the next was causing an exponential ballooning of contracts beyond market value even for veterans, in addition to there being little to no standards for performance escalators or guaranteed money vs contract money.

It really isn't a big deal now after the top 15 because by the end of the first round, rookies are getting pretty appropriate compensation for talented players who have not played a down. It's the top 15 that are bloated beyond their actual value.

The new slotting will make the respective sallaries more even and reasonable from pick 1 to pick 32 and the remainder of the draft will likely see little no change, outside a loss of a year before they become RFA's, in a likely give on the league's part as some compensation to the player's association for agreeing to slotting. I'm thinking three to four years gets you restricted free agency. You may even see two option where they can go four if they want to give a lot more guaranteed money.

The NFL not guaranteeing contracts is the biggest reason this isn't as easy as the other sports. Rosters of 52 players don't allow for guaranteed contracts.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:33 PM   #9
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I think underclassmen are increasingly worried about the senior falloff, we have seen guys like Laurinaitis, Maualuga, Iwabema and Jake Locker take tumbles down draft boards after failing to live up to their junior hype in their senior year. I think a lot of juniors are looking at the situation they are in and looking at the probability that they can improve in their senior season and keep their hype up and thinking that if there is an injury, with the added focus etc, etc, maybe it is not worth the risk.

I am sure the money has something to do with it, but I think to a large extend it is becoming more and more common to cash in on draft hype when you get that chance rather than going back for a 2nd shot at a championship.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
nope. It's been confirmed that, yes, the draft will happen on time and as usual; however, no team can actually sign their draft picks to a contract until the new CBA is agreed to and signed. Last year was their last chance to cash in.
I was wondering why so many underclassmen declared this year as well. Until there is a CBA, no contracts can be signed. A rookie wage scale is almost certain to be a part of the CBA and there is the possibility of a lockout. Why not stay in school for another year until all this is hashed out? The only thing I can conclude is: (1) The sooner they sign that first deal, the sooner they get to the second contract pay day, and (2) They are pretty confident there will be a season this year.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:38 PM   #11
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The players contracts were slotted, yes Beantown, but they were slotted based on who was in front and behind them and adjusted off position and what the player at their slot made the year before. This is why every rookie wanted a QB to go first overall every year so they could demand proportionately more at their slot. The percentage growth from one year to the next was causing an exponential ballooning of contracts beyond market value even for veterans, in addition to there being little to no standards for performance escalators or guaranteed money vs contract money.

It really isn't a big deal now after the top 15 because by the end of the first round, rookies are getting pretty appropriate compensation for talented players who have not played a down. It's the top 15 that are bloated beyond their actual value.

The new slotting will make the respective sallaries more even and reasonable from pick 1 to pick 32 and the remainder of the draft will likely see little no change, outside a loss of a year before they become RFA's, in a likely give on the league's part as some compensation to the player's association for agreeing to slotting. I'm thinking three to four years gets you restricted free agency. You may even see two option where they can go four if they want to give a lot more guaranteed money.

The NFL not guaranteeing contracts is the biggest reason this isn't as easy as the other sports. Rosters of 52 players don't allow for guaranteed contracts.
You could certainly guarantee salaries if you had a farm league, but the lack of a farm league system makes guaranteed contracts impossible.

In terms of a rookie wage scale, it will certainly reduce contract sizes in the top 10, but probably won't have much influence in the lower rounds except that the current about 8-10% increase per year would probably be kept in check better as rookie wages would follow the salary cap more tightly.

Currently 4 years would guarantee you unrestricted free agency, I don't see them changing that. I think the really interesting part is that contract lengths tend to work the opposite way that you would think. For a high draft pick getting a shorter contract with a faster shot at free agency and a huge deal would seem better, while a lower round draft pick would be more interested in a longer team deal with more time to develope and become a starter. In practice the top picks get long contracts very much above market value tying the team to that player for several years while also keeping several of those players from testing the free agent market, meanwhile the low round draft picks often end up bouncing around the league because they are easy to cut in terms of accelerated bonuses, and often do not get the time they need to develope into starters.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:42 PM   #12
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I was wondering why so many underclassmen declared this year as well. Until there is a CBA, no contracts can be signed. A rookie wage scale is almost certain to be a part of the CBA and there is the possibility of a lockout. Why not stay in school for another year until all this is hashed out? The only thing I can conclude is: (1) The sooner they sign that first deal, the sooner they get to the second contract pay day, and (2) They are pretty confident there will be a season this year.
I think there are several options that allow this years crop to be signed without a wage scale.

I don't think it is a given that a new CBA will be hammered out right away, it could very well happen that the sides decide to carry on with some sort of temporary agreement that allows the league continue doing its thing at least until the preseason by which time a CBA could be negotiated. That would allow teams to sign rookies without a scale.

It is also possible that the NFLPA decertify, in that case all players not under contract are free agents and the rookies could sign without a cap.

If everything comes to a stand still for a while before a new CBA is negotiated it is possible the new CBA will enact an abbreviated offseason under current rules to get free agents signed and rookies dealt with before the new rules kick in, just to avoid chaos.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
I've been through it all and do understand that the trend in recent years has been that more underclassmen are declaring year-by-year. Still doesn't really answer my question about this particular year though. I would just think, logically, that last year would've been the peak and this would be the first year of bucking the trend. Why? Because there is no real $ incentive to come out this year and there are two HUGE negatives.

1. The potential new salary and bonus structure sucks.
2. The very real chance that they may not even be able to make a penny if there's a lockout.



Semantics. A cap serves the same purpose essentially as a scale when 95% of the rookies are essentially signing the same contract as the guy drafted in their slot the year before plus whatever the year-by-year increase in the rookie salary cap works out to.



I know that this is the goal at least. But it is a different argument. This is tough to word properly, but I'll try.

The system described in the article is a very specific "flat fee/no haggle Saturn" buying experience. I get that. That's all well and good, but it's not what I'm questioning. What I'm questioning is the author's implication that there is not a de facto wage scale in place now. There is IMO. There is an amount they can't go over. Just because there are negotiations over the structure of the contract itself doesn't mean there isn't a scale they have to use and fit into.
Oy, you are making this way too complex BB.

1. The Main difference is this, the contracts in the new system will not allow agents to negotiate or Holdout for their clients. There is actually no need for an agent to negotiate your contract, the need will be to secure endorsements. The agents will lose out on huge dollar deals and being able to hold teams hostage using a holdout. It will eliminate holdouts.

2. The whole semantics thing is wrong. It is not a restructuring of the system, it changes the rookie contracts completely. No more years to negotiate, it is standard based on round and pick. No more early negotiating until a certain year of the deal when either can ask to get it done. No more extras negotiated like parking spaces et al until the veteran contract.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:23 PM   #14
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I think there are several options that allow this years crop to be signed without a wage scale.

I don't think it is a given that a new CBA will be hammered out right away, it could very well happen that the sides decide to carry on with some sort of temporary agreement that allows the league continue doing its thing at least until the preseason by which time a CBA could be negotiated. That would allow teams to sign rookies without a scale.

It is also possible that the NFLPA decertify, in that case all players not under contract are free agents and the rookies could sign without a cap.

If everything comes to a stand still for a while before a new CBA is negotiated it is possible the new CBA will enact an abbreviated offseason under current rules to get free agents signed and rookies dealt with before the new rules kick in, just to avoid chaos.
I really don't see a temporary agreement or ownership doling out money to rookies and free agents in the event of decertification. I could see an abbreviated offseason once a CBA is hammered out. I think this will be a last minute deal which will hurt a team like Denver looking to bring in a whole new coaching staff and system. No minicamps, shortened preseason, etc. For a kid coming out of college it would make sense to me to stay in school for a year.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:24 PM   #15
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Oy, you are making this way too complex BB.

1. The Main difference is this, the contracts in the new system will not allow agents to negotiate or Holdout for their clients. There is actually no need for an agent to negotiate your contract, the need will be to secure endorsements. The agents will lose out on huge dollar deals and being able to hold teams hostage using a holdout. It will eliminate holdouts.

2. The whole semantics thing is wrong. It is not a restructuring of the system, it changes the rookie contracts completely. No more years to negotiate, it is standard based on round and pick. No more early negotiating until a certain year of the deal when either can ask to get it done. No more extras negotiated like parking spaces et al until the veteran contract.
How long will the standard rook contract be for? And, will the owners go for URFA after five years?
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:37 PM   #16
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Get two of those defensive players, please!
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #17
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How long will the standard rook contract be for? And, will the owners go for URFA after five years?
That is the debate.. Most articles I've read are suggesting a shorter contract for less money. The union is against it though but I can't see why if owners are forced to redistribute the cash to vets, which is where it should go...
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:28 PM   #18
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Four picks in the Top 70. Almost all should be defense, but in rare instances of a starter on the OL and perhaps one of the talented runners in this draft I would consider an exception.

(2) DL
(1) LB
(1) DB

(1) OL
(1) RB
(1) TE

We currently have six selections in this draft and must be wise. Much ambiguity looms without a CBA in place. Good thing is we should be in position to get a quality player at any of these positions with our picks. However, as I said I would prefer defense.

I think we are poised back to a 4-3 move. This would probably bring Ayers to LDE and inside on passing downs, with Dumervil going to the RDE spot. Bannan could flip inside, but we still would need another defensive tackle -- I would also draft another end.

I would move D.J. back to WILL and draft a MIKE. I think there are three players who an come in and do that as rookies. Martez Wilson, Quan Sturdivant and Greg Jones. I've seen the most of Jones and he can play WILL or MIKE. That makes him beneficial because DJ provides good value at either position. Interchangeable.

Safety is needed either way. I'm guessing Fox will pick up the option on Dawkins contract because he has such a strong preference towards veterans like him. Pending on what happens with Champ, CB could be realistically important as well.

Starters can be and should be found at every pick we have in this top seventy. There is no excuse not to be able to get them.

This rebuild is going to take more than a year, but I feel a strong defensive effort can be undertaken immediately. It by far needs the most help. Foundations for the future.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:40 PM   #19
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Good post Requiem, I would rank our top needs if we go 4-3
1. Defensive Tackle
2. MLB
3. Safety, Either FS or SS
4. Defensive End
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:41 PM   #20
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I love Joe Mays as well as everyone else, but I really do not see him being a quality starter at Middle LineBacker
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:45 PM   #21
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Without reading the whole article, there are two parts I just don't understand:

1. Why is the record for # of underclassmen declaring going to be broken this year and not last, when last year was the last time they could in theory really cash in under the old rules? They had every reason in the world to come out last year and not a single reason to come out this year.

2. It says: "If a wage scale is in place, it's going to become more like the NBA with slotted deals, and there will not be the same looming threat of holdouts that the league has always had," one league executive told PFW.

But there always has been a rookie wage scale in place. Aside from the slotted numbers in theory going down instead of going up, this will be nothing new.
I can think of two reasons they may declare in heavy numbers:

1. The rookie wage scale may not go into effect this year.

2. The quicker you start a wage scale contract, the quicker you become a free agent.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:58 PM   #22
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Off topic question; does our staff get to coach the at Senior Bowl this year?
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:14 PM   #23
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Off topic question; does our staff get to coach the at Senior Bowl this year?
No, but Bowlen is paying for the entire coaching and scouting staffs to be there.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:23 PM   #24
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I think there are several options that allow this years crop to be signed without a wage scale.

I don't think it is a given that a new CBA will be hammered out right away, it could very well happen that the sides decide to carry on with some sort of temporary agreement that allows the league continue doing its thing at least until the preseason by which time a CBA could be negotiated. That would allow teams to sign rookies without a scale.

It is also possible that the NFLPA decertify, in that case all players not under contract are free agents and the rookies could sign without a cap.

If everything comes to a stand still for a while before a new CBA is negotiated it is possible the new CBA will enact an abbreviated offseason under current rules to get free agents signed and rookies dealt with before the new rules kick in, just to avoid chaos.
Well, they better agree to something that allows a season. It will certainly piss me off if they can't agree to something by March 15th.

We've all seen negotiations go bad because some personalities on one side or the other get too full of themselves and think they're the baddest ass person in the world and can't compromise, get locked into a position and are not willing to compromise.

The nature of progress is compromise, and these mutts better find it.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:24 PM   #25
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No, but Bowlen is paying for the entire coaching and scouting staffs to be there.
Yes, that was the deal. He'd pay for the Senior Bowl, but they have to buy their own Street & Smith's.
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