Ever since Eli Manning and Larry Fitzgerald got $20 million in guaranteed money after being drafted in 2004, the rookie contract market as gotten out of control. Every year guys drafted have gotten more and more money.
It’s now at a point where some rookies make more year-by-year than their veteran counterparts. Darren McFadden is set to make about $10 million a year after signing his monster rookie deal with about $30 million in guaranteed money, more than LT. 1st overall pick Jake Long, got $30 million guaranteed, making him the highest paid offense lineman in NFL HISTORY. Matt Ryan wasn’t even the first overall pick, and he still got a record $34 million in guaranteed money. These guys never played a down in the NFL, and already they’re set for life. Meanwhile, veterans that have worked so hard to make it big, get rewarded with chump-change, because either: a) teams have half their salary cap in their new 1st round pick or b) teams owe millions to their 1st round bust from five years ago.
Finally, Roger Goodell spoke out about this. Goodell said, “He (Jake Long) doesn’t have to play a down in the NFL and he already has his money,” Goodell said during a question-and-answer period at the end of a weeklong sports symposium at the Chautauqua Institution. “Now, with the economics where they are, the consequences if you don’t evaluate that player, you can lose a significant amount of money. And that money is not going to players that are performing. It’s going to a player that never makes it in the NFL. And I think that’s ridiculous.”