It's Friday, and after a week's hiatus thanks to Independence Day, we're back with another Friday set of Around the AFC East posts. We're getting close to the start of training camp - it's almost football season! - so feel free to let the venom y'all feel for our AFC East foes flow freely (but civilly).
We'll start the day's festivities off by discussing rookie contracts and OT Jake Long with Matty I of The Phinsider:
Let's talk about rookie contracts, and Roger Goodell's claims that top draft picks make too much money. Jake Long is about as sure a bet as you'll get as an offensive line prospect, but was he worth the $30 million guaranteed that he got? How upset would you be if a ruling was passed down limiting rookie salaries, making Long the last highly-paid #1 overall pick?
The Phinsider: Well as far as Jake Long's contract goes, I don't think he's worth $30 million guaranteed. But compared to the deals that JaMarcus Russell got in 2007 and Matt Ryan and Darren McFadden got in 2008, I do think that the Dolphins got a "relatively" good deal. Again, "relative" being the key word here. After all, these contracts are just what Roger Goodell said: ridiculous.
As far as a rookie pay scale goes, I'm all for it. I wouldn't be angry or upset at all if Jake Long was the final ridiculously paid #1 overall pick. Why? Because I'm not just a Dolphins fan, but also a fan of the game. And the economics of the game right now are totally screwed up. The NFL needs a rookie pay scale, much like the NBA currently has. There's no way a player who hasn't played a single down in the league should be the highest paid player at his particular position. It's absurd and it needs to change. So sure, it would suck (as a Dolphins fan) if the pay scale was implemented in 2009 because we had to pay Jake Long so much. But in the grand scheme of things, it's the right thing to do and will benefit the game, both short-term and long.
You know, for a Dolphins fan, that Matty I certainly has his head screwed on straight. I'm completely, 100% on board with Matty on this - if the NBA does one thing right, it's keep rookie salaries in check, and it's a model that the NFL should (and probably soon will be) following. As far as Long goes, I thought he was the right pick for Miami at #1, but no rookie is worth $30 million guaranteed. In fact, there are about two NFL players (you may have heard of them; I'm thinking "Manning" and "Brady") are worth $30 million guaranteed in my book. It's not like Miami had much of a choice in the matter, but I thought it absurd that they agreed to give the man $30 million nearly a full week before this year's draft.
And yes... it makes me feel good inside that the Dolphins might be the last team to ever have to pay an NFL rookie $30 million in guaranteed funds.
More Around the AFC East coming at you this afternoon!