Like the rest of us in the current economy, the NFL team owners are looking for ways to save a buck. They came up with an idea: "Why not pay a few people less money. In fact, let's start with the young players... We'll save them from the perils of sudden abject wealth. Their parents will thank us... Maybe the whole world will thank us? We may even get one of those Nobel Prizes for helping the football playing youth of America dream in smaller $$$ numbers... Plus, "CBA" will look great on a t-shirt... Is it great to be us or what!"
I've thought for a long time the rookie contracts were just the other side of absurd. The Russells and Leafs of the draft have shown me that and more. The more being that the owners actually thought it was smart to pay those ludicrous dollars to unproven college players. I laughed when the new CBA included a rookie pay scale. The NFL owners had to put it in a contract that a player couldn't ask for too much money and a team couldn't bend to the will of an agent no matter how much they wanted...
Agents must be witches. They cast spells over what would appear competent business men to make them think paying jillions of dollars to their clients made sense. The counter spell? Boolah - Boolah - CBA - Boolah and a wave of their Goodell wand... Poof! It was like Voldimort suddenly became a street vendor instead of an agent for the dark side. Agents rolled over faster than a Willy's Jeep. In fact, it is fair to state the need for an agent to negotiate a 1st round draft pick's contract may actually be no longer necessary. While an agent may be needed to find endorsement deals, agents may very well have lost a good deal of their money stream... Wait for it... Nope, I don't hear any fans crying. I mean, it's not like Rosenthal action figures were all that big at Christmas time anyway. Sports agents aren't ever going to garner sympathy. If Dickens had pressed a few orphaned agents noses against a steamy window it would have somehow lacked any literary emotion, though food scraps may have been thrown in their general direction...
Have a look at what this year's rookie 1st round crop will make versus 2010. I applied relative math, meaning a straight division for an average 4 year contract amount. The actual contracts often have varying or escalating yearly payments, but for the purposes of comparison, my way should serve.
The Top 10 of the rookie crop of 2010 had a combined 4 year payroll of $391.8 million. Their 2011 breatheren? $149.6 million... So in the first year of the new CBA, the owners have saved a whopping $242.2 million!!! Over the course of the new 10 year CBA - $2.4 billion and that's just on the Top 10 draftees. The $2.4 billion almost doubles with the rest of the first round picks included.
So the lockout's first CBA benefit for the owners is a savings of close to $5 billion over ten years on the draft alone.
|1.||Cam Newton||QB||Carolina||Signed||Four years, $22M guaranteed|
|2.||Von Miller||LB||Denver||Signed||Four years, $21M guaranteed|
|3.||Marcell Dareus||DT||Buffalo||Signed||Four years, $20.4M guaranteed|
|4.||A.J. Green||WR||Cincinnati||Signed||Four years, $19.6M|
|5.||Patrick Peterson||CB||Arizona||Signed||Four years, terms undisclosed|
|6.||Julio Jones||WR||Atlanta||Signed||Four years, $16.2M guaranteed|
|7.||Aldon Smith||DE||San Francisco||Signed||Four years, $14.3M|
|8.||Jake Locker||QB||Tennessee||Agreed to terms||Four years, $12M|
|9.||Tyron Smith||OT||Dallas||Signed||Four years, $12.5M guaranteed|
|10.||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Jacksonville||Signed||Four years, $12M guaranteed|
|11.||J.J. Watt||DE||Houston||Signed||Undisclosed terms|
|12.||Christian Ponder||QB||Minnesota||Signed||Undisclosed terms|
|13.||Nick Fairley||DT||Detroit||Signed||Four years, $10M guaranteed|
|14.||Robert Quinn||DE||St. Louis||Signed||Four years, terms undisclosed|
|15.||Mike Pouncey||C||Miami||Signed||Undisclosed terms|
|16.||Ryan Kerrigan||DE||Washington||Agreed to terms||Undisclosed terms|
|17.||Nate Solder||OT||New England||Unsigned|
|18.||Corey Liuget||DT||San Diego||Unsigned|
|19.||Prince Amukamara||CB||N.Y. Giants||Unsigned|
|20.||Adrian Clayborn||DE||Tampa Bay||Signed||Four years, $8.2M|
|23.||Danny Watkins||G||Philadelphia||Signed||Four years, terms undisclosed|
|24.||Cameron Jordan||DE||New Orleans||Unsigned|
|25.||James Carpenter||OT||Seattle||Agreed to terms||Undisclosed terms|
|26.||Jonathan Baldwin||WR||Kansas City||Signed||Four years, terms undisclosed|
|27.||Jimmy Smith||CB||Baltimore||Signed||Four years, $7.46M guaranteed|
|28.||Mark Ingram||RB||New Orleans||Signed||Undisclosed terms|
|29.||Gabe Carimi||OT||Chicago||Agreed to terms||Terms undisclosed|
|30.||Muhammad Wilkerson||DT||N.Y. Jets||Signed||Four years, terms undisclosed|
|31.||Cam Heyward||DT||Pittsburgh||Agreed to terms||Undisclosed terms|
|32.||Derek Sherrod||OT||Green Bay||Signed||Undisclosed terms|
|1.||Sam Bradford||QB||St. Louis||Signed||Six years, $78 million ($50M guaranteed)|
|2.||Ndamukong Suh||DT||Detroit||Signed||Five years, $68 million ($40M guaranteed)|
|3.||Gerald McCoy||DT||Tampa Bay||Signed||Five years, $63 million ($35M guaranteed)|
|4.||Trent Williams||OT||Washington||Signed||Six years, $60 million ($36.75M guaranteed)|
|5.||Eric Berry||SS||Kansas City||Signed||Six years, $60 million ($34M guaranteed)|
|6.||Russell Okung||OT||Seattle||Signed||Six years, $46.5 million ($29.5M guaranteed)|
|7.||Joe Haden||CB||Cleveland||Signed||Five years, $50M million ($26M guaranteed)|
|8.||Rolando McClain||LB||Oakland||Signed||Five years, $40 million ($23M guaranteed)|
|9.||C.J. Spiller||RB||Buffalo||Signed||Five years, $37 million ($20.8M guaranteed)|
|10.||Tyson Alualu||DE||Jacksonville||Signed||Five years, $28 million ($17.5M guaranteed)|
|11.||Anthony Davis||OT||San Francisco||Signed||Five years, $26.5 million ($16M guaranteed)|
|12.||Ryan Mathews||RB||San Diego||Signed||Five years, $25.65 million ($15M guaranteed)|
|13.||Brandon Graham||DE||Philadelphia||Signed||Five years, $22 million ($14M guaranteed)|
|14.||Earl Thomas||SS||Seattle||Signed||Five years, $21.1 million ($12.32M guaranteed)|
|15.||Jason Pierre-Paul||DE||N.Y. Giants||Signed||Five years, $20.05 million ($11.629M guaranteed)|
|16.||Derrick Morgan||DE||Tennessee||Signed||Five years (financial terms undisclosed)|
|17.||Mike Iupati||G||San Francisco||Signed||Five years, $18.25 million ($10.8M guaranteed)|
|18.||Maurkice Pouncey||C||Pittsburgh||Signed||Five years (financial terms undisclosed)|
|19.||Sean Witherspoon||LB||Atlanta||Signed||Five years, $17.5 million ($10.5M guaranteed)|
|20.||Kareem Jackson||CB||Houston||Signed||Five years, $16.3 million ($13.35M guaranteed)|
|21.||Jermaine Gresham||TE||Cincinnati||Signed||Five years $15.8 million ($9.6M guaranteed)|
|22.||Demaryius Thomas||WR||Denver||Signed||Five years, $15.5 million ($9.35M guaranteed)|
|23.||Bryan Bulaga||OT||Green Bay||Signed||Five yeras, $14.75 million ($8.76M guaranteed)|
|24.||Dez Bryant||WR||Dallas||Signed||Five years, $11.8 million ($8.3M guaranteed)|
|25.||Tim Tebow||QB||Denver||Signed||Five years, $11.25 million ($8.7M guaranteed)|
|26.||Dan Williams||DT||Arizona||Signed||Five years, $13.2 million ($8M guaranteed)|
|27.||Devin McCourty||CB||New England||Signed||Five years, $13.2 million ($7.825M guaranteed)|
|28.||Jared Odrick||DT||Miami||Signed||Five years, $13.07 million ($7.13M guaranteed)|
|29.||Kyle Wilson||CB||N.Y. Jets||Signed||Five years, $13 million ($7M guaranteed)|
|30.||Jahvid Best||RB||Detroit||Signed||Five years, $12.7 million ($7.1M guaranteed)|
|31.||Jerry Hughes||DE||Indianapolis||Signed||Five years, $12.67 million ($7M guaranteed)|
|32.||Patrick Robinson||CB||New Orleans||Signed||Five years, $12.25 million ($7M guaranteed)|
"Contract figures compiled by NFL Network insiders Jason La Canfora and Michael Lombardi, NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche, and other reported sources."
The fact that the CBA has lowered pay for players isn't all that upsetting to me. Players are still being paid millions to play football. They may have to buys a Porsche instead of a Bentley or struggle through life with five bathrooms instead of ten in their water front shacks.
Free agency will give the NFL owners a Karmic backlash. They will have to manage shortened contract terms and become better gauges of a players useful life. The past tells me they will screw this up in a huge way. The new four year free agency plan will play hell with team accountants and coaches alike.
Whether or not this "New NFL Order" will help large market teams is still up in the air. Every team will have to deal with the fact that taking more than four years to build, let alone maintain a winning team, will not only be the biggest challenge, but is the new reality of the NFL.
Whatever happens, the NFL owners would appear to have scored big with the new CBA. It all comes down to how much of the lower rookie salaries actually translates into money in the pockets of owners. Hopefully this windfall of savings is being spread out among players, both past and present, and the NFL owners. Only time will tell...