"We are in active discussions with all of our draft picks," Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Wednesday. "Things are going a bit more slowly because of the CBA."Only 80 draft picks have been signed at this point with less than two weeks before training camp, the article says.
The complication league-wide is language that has yet to be delivered to teams by the NFL Management Council. It governs how teams can contractually punish players and actually works in favor of players because owners essentially accepted the NFL Players Association's last proposal to extend the collective bargaining agreement in March.
For example, the CBA extension eliminates the Bengals' so-called Carl Pickens Clause, which would have allowed them to recoup signing bonus money paid up-front to a player. The new deal also prevents teams from getting back signing bonus money from past years, which the Dolphins did two years ago when tailback Ricky Williams retired. The Dolphins got money back that had been paid to Williams by the New Orleans Saints in 1999.
I maintain the biggest problem is the players. Some argue this will be the biggest payday in some of these guy's lives; so why not hold out for more money? It must be nice for most of these players to get paid so much for being unproven rookies. How many jobs in America provide this type of reward system before actually putting in an hours worth of work? Most of us develop a Ramen Noodle diet while players enjoy Hummers (the car, man), four-story homes, and movie theatres installed in a small corner of the house. It's not that I'm bitter. I'm not. But I still fail to see the logic of paying multi-million dollar packages to young men that haven't even played a regular season down in the NFL. And this doesn't even address the issue of having players, some of who have lived a very rough life, have millions put in their pocket. It's almost like a sudden shift in one man's cultural perspective on the world is changed overnight. There's no adaptation period. Is this a bi-product of what we're seeing with Chris Henry?
How else can you explain Reggie Bush? Nine out of ten mock drafts (unscientific number) picked the USC running back going first in the draft. To the surprise of a majority of observers, the Houston Texans selected Mario Williams, and signed him to a six-year, $54 million contract with $26.5 million guaranteed. It's being reported that Reggie Bush wants "first pick pay". College football stardom is over. It's the NFL. It's a collection of the best players in the world. What makes Bush think he still has that star power without playing a single down?
You could just as easily blame the NFL for not creating a maximum style contract ala NBA (good luck getting that past Gene Upshaw). You could blame the system for putting a financial premium on where a player is drafted. We know the NFL draft isn't a ranking of the best college players coming into the NFL; most draft based upon need. What do you think?
Packers News runs a nice story about the father/son combo of Zeke and Bob Bratkowski.
The NFL is about winning. Exemplary character is preferred. Exceptional talent is mandatory. Like it or not, the latter always has and always will trump the former.
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