ESPN: Owners, Players Agree On Rookie Wage Scale

I know I said earlier we’d cool it on lockout updates until a deal was done but this news is pretty big.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the owners and players have agreed to terms on a rookie wage scale. If this is indeed true, this could mean a new CBA is right around the corner. Various sources have been reporting for days that the rookie wage scale was the last major issue the two sides were trying to figure out.

Here is what ESPN had to say:

High-level sources told Clayton all first rounders would get four-year deals, plus the option year, under current proposals. That option could be executed by the team after the third or fourth year of the contract.

Owners had been seeking a fixed amount for the fifth-year option, roughly $4 million. Players wanted a top 10 salary at the position for the top 16 picks and proposed a top 15 salary for picks 17 through 32.

Payment of rookies has been a big flaw in the NFL for many years now. Top picks are often paid more than proven veterans without ever playing a down in the NFL. With the high bust rate of players coming out of college, it is insane for teams to be paying unproven players more than their veteran counterparts. A rookie wage scale will hopefully be a move to minimize the risk for teams picking at the top of the draft.

Keep in mind, as in all labor talks, progress can often be undone very quickly. Still, if the reports are true, the news is encouraging. Cross your fingers.

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