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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Tail Wags Dog (The Rookie Contract)
The NFL is fundamentally flawed in that pay has little to do with the performance of its players.  How close is the proximity of Percy Harvin with DeSean Jackson?  Climb aboard folks because Harvin's agent just severed the rope of this Missouri Boat Ride (The Outlaw Josey Wales - 1976).

Legally, all 32 owners cannot come together and agree on a pay system for its players.  An owner based pay system based upon collusion between owners is a direct violation of anti-trust laws.  In short, owners are not allowed to collude.  On the other hand, union's have special privileges.  Unions are not subject to these anti-trust laws.  This might help explain how the owners were dead in the water when the players agreed to dissolve their union.  For the NFL to function, under its present system, it needs the NFL Players Union.  On the other hand, all 32 owners can collectively present its list of demands to the union, which can include a workable pay system better suited to ownership ... not designed by someone with a vested interest.  Our present system resulted in
today's Salary Cap and an updated bound rookie contract system.  The problem is that the present contract, that deals with the pay system, benefits certain franchises over other franchises ... and let's not forget the performance of player agents.
Recently, 1st or rookie contracts took a large hit.  The argument was in regard to guaranteed money for players that hadn't played a down in the NFL, or better said, had vested absolutely nothing within the league.  The result ... cheaper Rookie Contracts.  Allowing this was a major mistake made by the bulk of the ownership groups.  The question is, who benefits from this inherent turmoil?  Do you for one moment think that it is a franchise in Minnesota or do you think it benefits those with a bunch of Lombardi trophies?
Franchises like to reward players in their second contracts for either services rendered, either for their own team ... a team that has a franchise quarterback, or they over-pay for a player for services achieved on another team (free agency).  The result is an insane system based upon verbiage, with a promise that I'll be great for your franchise in the future.  Hey, it could happen.  
Now consider two (2) bottles of wine.  One is priced at $14.99 where the other is priced at $150.  The difference between them may only be 10% on measurable qualities ... that is a fact.  This factor, is the agents ploy, as there is always someone willing to pay for that 10% difference.  The problem is that this league is not based upon bottles of wine ... it is based upon a team of individuals that should be competing for the teams available resources ... not for 15% or 20% of a meal ... enough that you'll always know that your hungry.  In other words, players should be paid upon their performance  with immediate gratification, not based upon some future hope with the odds & the clock stacked against him.  With all due respect, no one player (Bret Favre) was worth 12 million dollars at the direct and immediate expense of t
he other 52 man roster.  If 40% of the salary cap was tied into realized incentives ... this would never have happened.  

How can you accomplish a performance based pay system.  It starts at 5% and add 5% per year until your satisfied with the performance based pay system.  You'll know that you've hit the sweet spot when the complaints about pay stop and the performance is realized on the field ... "I could of made that catch but they don't pay me enough".    

We are not talking about communism, socialism, redistribution of wealth or a non-incentive union scale working wage.  We are talking about having the owners seizing a sizable portion of the cap toward incentive based pay.  That includes guaranteed money.  This can be accomplished by demanding that type of structure from the Players Union.
With the average length of a players career being in the 4 year range, why shouldn't a rookie take down a sizable chunk of bonus & guaranteed money, if they have earned it?  If you had someone working a 40 hour week pulling in $10K in business locked into the same contract as someone that put in a 60 week pulling in $260K in business you'd be insane to pay them the same scale.  When I hear that Rookie Contracts are locked in it ties my stomach into knots.  A player shouldn't have to wait until year six to secure his future that he's rightfully earned in his first 3 years.  How it has got to destroy that player knowing that his money, his security, it now playing in New England with Tom Brady.  Enough!             

Yes!  It is time to change this system.  It begins with a thought.  When that next collective bargaining agreement comes due, it will be time to make sure that this present system doesn't continue.  Today is the day that you begin the algorithm that defines a players incentive based pay, so that players like Percy Harvin don't have to hear, "This is a business", but rather hears, "Congratulations kid, look what you nailed down.  Keep up the good work."   

Again, with all due respect ... when it comes to the big money guys ... you ain't worth it ... and you know it.  Pinch yourself because these days of illusion will soon be over. 

The Viking Ghost Writer
June 21, 2012