No Playing Experience? Less Paying Experience.

May 17, 2009
You have a job at a local store and working hard you rise up the ranks and end up as the manager of the store. Then, a new employee comes in, can’t do a good job, and gets paid more than you. That’s what happens in the NFL (National Football League). Rookies receive more money than some of the superstars of the NFL without any playing experience in a professional football game.

Most seniors coming out of college has three years of playing experience. What strikes me is that a 3-year college student (underclassmen) with just two or even one year of playing in college gets paid more than proven veterans that know what the NFL is like. Take the quarterback position for instance. Since the 1990 NFL Draft, when underclassmen first became eligible to be drafted after being only three years removed from college instead of four, there have been 15 quarterbacks drafted in round one. Of those 15, only five have been selected to a Pro Bowl — Vince Young, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, Trent Dilfer, Drew Bledsoe.

There are many more busts than booms as history shows us. Since 1936, when the first draft took place, there has been failure of high-picked, high-paid draftees. Out of the 146 no. 1 and 2 overall picks since the draft started, only 23 are in the hall of fame. That’s about a 15% success rate. Out of the 730 top 10 picks, only 66 players are in the hall of fame. The success rate is even lower for top 10 picks; a measly 9% are in the hall of fame.

The average first overall pick is going up… fast. The NFL does have a rookie salary cap in place, but it shows haw ineffective it is when 2009’s no. 1 overall pick, Matthew Stafford, got paid 72 million dollars (6 year contract with $41.7 million guaranteed) for being the first overall pick. That is twice as much as 2004’s no. 1 overall pick Eli Manning, which is just 5 years ago. His guaranteed money breaks the record for most guaranteed money in the history of the NFL. Not just the history of rookie contracts, the history of any contract that was agreed upon in the NFL! This is without playing a single down in a professional football game.

The draft used to be where the bad teams had a chance to rebuild around a star player for years to come. These days no one wants to hold the no. 1 overall pick because of the money and criticism to follow. A top ten pick can also make or break a franchise. Give a bust millions of dollars and a 6-7 year contract to sit on the bench. This would guaranty a financial suffering and media criticism. Plus it hurts a team’s salary cap (Each team has a cap number that puts specific limits on haw much a team can doll out to players). This would break any team in any kind of sport.

A new rookie salary cap must be put into place. Maybe limited to a 2-3 year contract and less than $25 million. This would make the draft more effective for bad teams and provide a cap that doesn’t ruin a team for years to come. This would also mean more money to spend on proven veterans that deserve the money more than rookies.


Inexperienced rich? I don’t think so.





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