The difference in money between a quarterback picked in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft and a quarterback picked in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft could be substantial.
Many NFL officials, including commissioner Roger Goodell, are championing a rookie wage scale for 2010, after the current collective bargaining agreement expires. Goodell called it "ridiculous” to give rookies lucrative contracts.
"There’s something wrong about the system,” Goodell said earlier this year at a sports symposium hosted by the Chautauqua Institution, John Wawrow reported. "The money should go to people who perform.”
Before his death earlier this year, NFL union chief Gene Upshaw said the players would not accept a rookie wage scale. The league currently has a rookie payroll cap within the overall payroll cap, but those numbers apply only to the first-year salary. Most high draft picks sign contracts ranging from four to six years.
"The value of the draft has priced itself out of existence,” Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian told NBCsports.com. "The idea that the worst team would get help from a good player or players is out the window because you are saddled in ‘salary cap hell’ if the guy is anything but an almost immediate Pro Bowler.