If revenue sharing has been a three-foot tall hurdle throughout the lockout, then the implementation of a rookie wage scale has been about 2.5 feet. In other words, it’s only slightly taller than Danny Woodhead.
With the revenue issue closing in on a resolution after a report showing the new CBA details emerged in late June, the players and owners were left to work up the courage to take a running start at that rookie wage scale hurdle.
Now it appears some significant progress was made on Thursday. I know, I know, we’ve written the words “significant progress” at least 43 times since March, and we’re still writing the words “significant progress.” But this time we mean it. Honest.
With the two sides already close on the specific numbers of a rookie pay scale, it was only a matter of time until one side finally showed some common sense and made a concession in an effort to meet on some scary middle ground. That side seems to be the owners.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports cites two sources who say that the owners made a “significant concession” Thursday afternoon.
If true, and the owners are stepping forward, then this thing could actually get done.
The sources expressed caution but both said things are increasingly positive.
We’re looking at Friday as perhaps the biggest day of this mess. It could all come down to tomorrow.
So Mike, if we’re following you correctly you’re saying that tomorrow is kind of a big deal, right?
Earlier this afternoon Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweeted that once the rookie wage hurdle is triumphantly cleared, the push towards a merciful resolution to the lockout should be strong. Of course he then followed that up with the cautious, bucket-of-water tweet later on in the evening, but we’ll try to ignore that one.
Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post broke the specifics of the rookie wage debate yesterday. The main issue of contention is the fifth year of the rookie deals, and Brandt outlined the preferred structure for both the players and owners.
Players: The team would have an option that would make the fifth year a very high level corresponding to top veteran, not rookie, contracts. Picks 1-16 would have a fifth-year option of a Transition-tag formula of the top 10 average salaries at their position; picks 17-32 would have a fifth-year option the top 15-20 average salaries at their position.
Owners: They would like more fixed and lower cost to that fifth year. Picks 1-8 would be optioned at a preset level of roughly $9 million; picks 9-16 would be optioned at preset level of roughly $7 million; and picks 17-32 would be optioned at a preset level equivalent to the average salary at their respective positions.