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SBD/March 10, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Labor Watch: Smith Says 18-Game Schedule Off The Negotiating Table
Published March 10, 2011
DRAFT AGREEMENT: YAHOO SPORTS' Jason Cole cited two sources as saying that the league and the union have "reached a basic compromise on a rookie wage scale that will replace the current rookie salary cap." The owners "backed off the idea of requiring first-round picks to sign five-year deals, instead limiting the contracts to four years before a player could become a free agent." The agreement "is also expected to include a stipulation limiting the amount of money and signing bonus offered to draft picks." The league also "agreed that all players drafted after the first round would be limited to three-year deals, but teams would be allowed to put restricted free agent tags after the three years." The "key change is for the players in the first round." Currently, the first 16 players drafted "can sign for up to six years," while the next 16 "can sign up to five years." Cole noted the reason the union "wanted shorter deals is that it allows good players to get to free agency faster." The NFLPA, "in addition to the rookie wage scale," is "expected to agree on stronger language to allow teams to recoup money from players who get in trouble with the law" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/9). However, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske on Twitter yesterday reported, “Sources on both sides of dispute say there's no agreement yet on a rookie wage scale” (TWITTER.com, 3/9).