I’m not exaggerating when I say that there a lot of days from 2006 to late-2007 when the emails from the other guys at Kissing Suzy Kolber were the only reason I got out of bed. The six of us make an odd cadre, and while I’m often in the minority on some discussions, regarding football and otherwise, I typically find great joy in the exchange. One such exchange happened today about the idea of imposing a rookie salary cap, which I’m adamantly against. But everyone else clamoring for one might be surprised at this bit of news: the NFL already has rookie salary restrictions in place.
In actuality, NFL rookie wages are already capped: teams are already enjoying “artifically depressed” rookie wages, thanks to a rookie wage pool dictated by the NFL’s revised 2006 collective bargaining agreement. Now put on your nerd caps, because here comes the blockquote with extra legalese:
Each year, as mandated by the CBA, the league-wide salary cap rises in accordance with increases in league revenues. The Rookie Cap rises in tandem, keeping rookie salaries from rising more quickly than their veteran peers. Created by the NFL Management Council, the formula of exactly how each team’s Rookie Cap number is determined is unknown. However, it is based on the number and round of each franchise’s draft selections. Article XVII of the amended 2006 CBA states: “The list of each Formula Allotment attributed to each draft selection shall be agreed to by the NFL and the NFLPA, and shall not be disclosed to Clubs, Players, Player Agents or the public.”
But the exact recipe of the cap has been something of a mystery, so these guys at The Sport Journal decided to take a crack at it in a paper submitted by the awesomely-named McDonald P. Mirabile, and here’s what they found [emphasis added]:
In summation, rookie contracts are not only constrained by a franchise Rookie Cap, but in general are further constrained by an agreed upon valuation of each draft pick’s worth. This valuation is not the result of market forces, the same interplay of supply and demand that determines veteran contracts, but rather is the result of a well-protected formula that artificially depresses rookie contracts.
Word to your mother. But now how the hell do we explain Matthew Stafford’s $72 million payday now?