Tony Gonzalez supports rookie wage scale concept

100813 Atlanta - GONZALEZ FIRST DOWN - Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) makes a first down catch as he is brought down by Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr (39) during 1st quarter action in the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010.     Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

100813 Atlanta - GONZALEZ FIRST DOWN - Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) makes a first down catch as he is brought down by Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr (39) during 1st quarter action in the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

BIRDLAND –  Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, an 11-time Pro Bowler in 14 NFL seasons, recently discussed the potential benefits of a rookie wage system.

“I think that would cut down on a lot of problems if you let these rookies come in and earn that money,” Gonzalez said Tuesday on Sports Talk Radio 610 in Houston. “That’s kind of similar to what the NBA does. There is a cap.

“For a rookie to come in and make $60-70 million guaranteed, I say – and everybody can agree with that — is absolutely ridiculous,” Gonzalez said. “They have not played a down on that field. You might as well take that money and give that to the veterans and maybe that solves some type of problem where we do give back a little bit to the ownership.

“Like I said, that’s just my opinion. I don’t know what’s going on with these negotiations. Maybe it has been bought up. Maybe they can’t do it for whatever reason, but it seems like the common sense answer right there.”

In the ongoing labor negotiations, the league has proposed diverting $300 million from rookies selected in the first round of the draft to veterans and player benefits.

The Falcons have drafted 10 players in the first round since 2000.  Those 10 players contracted for $118,416,250 in guaranteed compensation before ever playing a down. That is an average of $11,841,625 per player.

  • 2010 (19) Sean Weatherspoon, $10.45 million
  • 2009 (24) Peria Jerry, $7.55
  • 2008 (3) Matt Ryan $34.75
  • 2008 (21) Sam Baker $8.1
  • 2007 (8) Jamaal Anderson $15.36
  • 2005 (27) Roddy White $4.7
  • 2004 (8) DeAngelo Hall $12.64
  • 2004 (29) Michael Jenkins $3.99
  • 2002 (18) T.J. Duckett $5.56
  • 2001 (1) Michael Vick $15.3

Only four of those 10 players –  Hall, Ryan, Vick and White – have been selected to a Pro Bowl as a Falcon.

Anderson, who contracted for $15,361,250 in guaranteed compensation before his NFL career began, has played four seasons with Atlanta and has totaled 105 tackles and 4.5 sacks.  That is an average of $146,298 per tackle and $3,413,611 per sack.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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57 comments Add your comment

NE Falcon

April 22nd, 2011
11:58 am

Bet he’s not complaining

Marcus

April 22nd, 2011
11:59 am

yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh…………….mgiht be time for a l’il adjustment.

Marcus

April 22nd, 2011
12:01 pm

No guarantee, however, that any savings from a rookie wage scale will find its way to veterans ……. or just end up in the owners’ pockets.
Joe Johnson jersey again! :( ;)

SeenThisB4

April 22nd, 2011
12:23 pm

The rookie wage scale wouldn’t be something where all the #1s are forced to play for minimum wage, that’s a misconception. They’d still get huge contracts, just the guarantees would go away, and the payouts more loaded on the end.

The falcan’ts organization would reap huge dividends though, since their #1s are usually out of football by year 3. That’s why they are the falcan’ts!

hiramsaint

April 22nd, 2011
12:42 pm

i would quip a witty comment but seen has it about perfect right there!

Dr. Warren

April 22nd, 2011
1:05 pm

Anderson totaled 105 tackles in 4 years??!!! That is 25 per year? Only 1.5 tackles per game??? We all knew he was a disappointment, but THAT much of one? How does he still have a job?

Falcons Will Win

April 22nd, 2011
1:18 pm

I get so tired of 10 year old saints trolls thinking falcons fans give a RAT’S ASS what they think, everytime I read these blogs, Seen and Hiram grow some hair and balls and leave.

PMC

April 22nd, 2011
1:23 pm

Reading our list of draft picks and what they made is a little depressing. The inconsistancy is glaring.

hiramsaint

April 22nd, 2011
1:23 pm

seems to me you do give a RATS ARSE or else you wouldn’t comment on our comments. remember…don’t feed the trolls–hehehehehehehehehehe !

PlanB

April 22nd, 2011
1:28 pm

This is like testing welfare people for drugs. Of course it’s the right thing to do. Many high picks bust and many low picks or undrafted go on to great careers. Find out if they are worthy before handing out all that money.

SeenThisB4

April 22nd, 2011
1:43 pm

@Falcan’ts Will Win:

What are you talking about? My comments are fair, balanced and unbiased! You sound a lot like Helen Thomas there. You related to her?

Anyway, my comments are dead on target, accurate, concise and correct.

Okay Gentlemen, you all have a nice weekend, you too falcan’tsWillWin.

STB4 is out.

RE:SeenThisB4

April 22nd, 2011
2:19 pm

Here is the list of the last 10 first rounders for the saints.

2001 23 Deuce McAllister † Running back Mississippi
2002 13 Donté Stallworth Wide receiver Tennessee
2002 25 Charles Grant Defensive end Georgia [s]
2003 6 Johnathan Sullivan Defensive tackle Georgia [t]
2004 18 Will Smith † Defensive end Ohio State
2005 13 Jammal Brown † Offensive tackle Oklahoma [u]
2006 2 Reggie Bush Running back Southern California
2007 27 Robert Meachem Wide receiver Tennessee
2008 7 Sedrick Ellis Defensive tackle Southern California [v]
2009 14 Malcolm Jenkins Defensive back Ohio State
2010 32 Patrick Robinson Cornerback Florida State

I sure see lots of losers there.

RE:SeenThisB4

April 22nd, 2011
2:27 pm

About Will Smith.

On December 2, 2008, he received a four-game suspension for use of a diuretic, which can be used a masking agent for steroid use. It is believed that the diuretic was found in a weight-loss supplement that he had been taking.[3] Smith was not allowed to return to the active roster until December 29, 2008.

Another for Sean Payton.

Per the lawsuit, “Senior Staff Member A” (i.e., Payton) was receiving sufficient Vicodin to constitute abuse.

I would be so proud of my team if I were you.

RE:SeenThisB4

April 22nd, 2011
2:33 pm

More stuff to be proud of. This is all your first rounders.

This would have been the first time that a Heisman Trophy had been revoked. On September 14, Bush voluntarily forfeited his award and sent the trophy back to the Heisman Trust

On June 26, 2006, Sullivan was stopped by police near Atlanta and charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, among other charges.

Grant was indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a February 2008 altercation at a nightclub in which a pregnant woman was shot to death outside a Blakely, Georgia nightclub. Korynda Reed, 23, and her unborn fetus died after being taken to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan after the fight early in the morning of February 3, 2008. Grant has said that he was neither an instigator nor a participant in the fight. Grant was arraigned on August 15, 2008.[7] The criminal case was resolved in May 2010 when Grant pleaded guilty to a charge of public affray, he was assessed a $1,000 fine and a year’s probation, and ordered to pay $20,000 for the cost of the investigation by the sheriff’s office; the more serious involuntary murder charge was dismissed. Grant still faced a civil suit by the family of the victim.[8][9]

On the morning of March 14, 2009, a 2005 Bentley coupé driven by Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian in Miami Beach, Florida. Stallworth was headed toward the beach when he hit Mario Reyes, 59. Police initially investigated the accident further to see if charges against Stallworth would be warranted.[citation needed]

Stallworth admitted to drinking the night prior to the accident. According to early reports Stallworth was legally drunk at the time of the accident;[8] news sources reported that his blood alcohol content was 0.12, over the nationwide legal limit of 0.08.[9][10] Stallworth claims that he flashed his car’s headlights to warn Reyes before striking him.[11] A Miami Beach police report said Reyes was not in a crosswalk on busy MacArthur Causeway when he was struck by the black 2005 Bentley Continental GT driven by Stallworth. Police estimated Stallworth was driving about 50 mph in a 40 mph zone.[12] The construction crane operator was trying to catch a bus home after finishing his shift around 7:15 a.m.[13]

Stallworth was charged with DUI and second degree manslaughter on April 1, 2009; he surrendered to police on April 2, 2009, and was released on $200,000 bail.[14] He pled guilty, and received a sentence of 30 days in jail, plus 1,000 hours of community service, 2 years of house arrest, and 8 years probation.[15] He has also received a life-time suspension of his Florida state driver’s license.[16]

On July 10, 2009, Stallworth was released from jail after serving 24 days of a 30-day sentence.

The Associated Press reported on June 16, 2009, that Stallworth and the Reyes family reached a financial agreement, avoiding a civil lawsuit. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.[17]

On August 13, 2009, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated that Stallworth would be suspended for the entire 2009 season without pay. Stallworth was reinstated after Super Bowl XLIV.[18]

A Yahoo! Sports story published August 12, 2010, reported that Stallworth’s lawyers indicated he could have fought all charges with “an excellent chance of being found innocent,” but that Stallworth chose to be convicted of a felony to do what he felt was morally right. The article later notes that David Cornwell, one of Stallworth’s attorneys, felt there was irony in the reaction to Stallworth’s decision because the public and media criticized the plea deal without knowing the full story.[19]

Damage Inc.

April 22nd, 2011
2:59 pm

C’mon Re: , don’t be so hard (SEAHAWKS!!) on STDsymplex4 or hiramain’t (HAHASEAHAWKS!!). They’re just (SEAHAWKSHAHA!!) rooting for the unbeatable (SEAHAWKSHAHA!!), unstoppable (HADEHARHAR) saints.

hiramsaint

April 22nd, 2011
3:08 pm

i never realized how hard it must be for you to never have had a chance at winning a championship. and the denver game was not a chance. it was a beatdown on par with the packers slaughter. all that pent up anger at your loser team is understandable and i’m glad i can be here so you can try to bash me and my team . you see , the shine of the chrome sheds your negativity just as matty melt shed his team and conceded in the 2nd qtr. of your last game. be happy with your mediocrity for it suits atl. well !

RE Damage Inc.

April 22nd, 2011
3:08 pm

Abernathy or Cantrell?

Peter

April 22nd, 2011
3:14 pm

I also believe the NFL should pay a little more like the other leagues….BUT….this is a league where you may only last 4 to 5 years, and that is your time to make the money you or your family needs.

So I am not so sure it is fair to cut the rookies salaries to a very low level……. kind of a mixed bag situation.

CONservative Johnson

April 22nd, 2011
3:40 pm

Dr. Warren, I’m not saying that Anderson is any good; but you don’t measure a DE by tackles . . .

CONservative Johnson

April 22nd, 2011
3:43 pm

I think the players are being duped on the rookie wage scale. These rookie contracts speed up the growth of free agent contracts. Sure it may push an older talent out quicker, but it will also likely get them paid more for less time played (and save their bodies in the process) . . .

Joe Tess Fish House

April 22nd, 2011
4:55 pm

Hey Gonzo how about endiong the strike,get back to work and let someone else worry about the rokies pay.

Mocking your Mock

April 22nd, 2011
5:03 pm

Might keep underclassmen in college a little bit longer too. Boy, would I love to see Green and Houston dominate in their senior year. I am glad $cam Newton is gone, however.

PMC

April 22nd, 2011
5:03 pm

Reggie Bush….Ricky Williams…. sure, no mistakes in the Saints draft history…..

dawgjammin

April 22nd, 2011
5:29 pm

learn the proper use of and/or. anderson can’t make that money per tackle and per sack….it has to be one or the other or a better $ number to illustrate. either way he’s def over paid

RE: PMC

April 22nd, 2011
5:46 pm

Of course Ricky Williams led the league in Rushing for a couple of years with the Saints, then the Saints got Two (2) number 1s and a 3 for him from Miami, not bad in my opinio, definitely not a mistake.

And of course Reggie was the second overall pick in 2006, and he helped the Saints get to and win Super Bowl XIV, so again, definitely not a mistake. Besides, lots of teams, including your own, try to emulate the Saints in how they deploy Bush. STB4.

JASon

April 22nd, 2011
6:00 pm

Obviously the rookie pay scale is warranted. But, you know, who really cares, it pales in comparison to the issue of greedy owners wanting $1 billion more from the pot. Do they think discussing these other issues is going to make us forget that

MF

April 22nd, 2011
6:36 pm

So freaking tired of Saints trolls. Follow your own team and be done with it!

Philly 1

April 22nd, 2011
7:15 pm

Owners have created the problem and you an I would do the same if offered. Take the money and run, bottom line , greed, and they are pricing me out of goin to the games, cool, I’ll watch it on t.v. untill they charge me and then I’ll quit watching.

hiramsaint

April 22nd, 2011
10:02 pm

pmc- again someone beat me to the punch but seeing how easy it is to pounce on you , i won’t pummel you further!

1,000 yards from scrimmage

April 22nd, 2011
11:35 pm

Can the NFL and it’s PLAYERS COME TOGETHER ?

WnE

April 22nd, 2011
11:57 pm

I wonder did Tony Gonzalez feel the same way BEFORE he signed his first contract as an NFL FIRST ROUNDER?

What a friggin’ hypocritical douche-bag!!

hop

April 23rd, 2011
4:37 am

I could care less about the NFL and its player battle with the owners!

ticket prices have sky-rocketed the last five years.

the only person not at the bargaining table is the FANS.

the nfl does care about the fan at all. and why should I care how to split the nine billion
dollar between the greedly owners and the worthless players!

Sid

April 23rd, 2011
8:55 am

You’ve got to just ignore the trolls MF, for some reason responding only feeds their warped hunger.

SawThat1nce

April 23rd, 2011
9:01 am

hiramaint @12:42pm 4/22/11………….If you make a “witty” comment, it would be the first witty comment, that you have ever made.
Unless you equate witty, with just plain stupid.
Stupid, is the category, that all of the comments, you have ever made on these AJC blogs, falls under.

falconsrelax

April 23rd, 2011
9:08 am

@ joetess YOU DO REALIZE THIS ISN’T A “PLAYERS STRIKE” BUT A “OWNERS LOCKOUT” RIGHT??? ITs fans like you thats making this thing carry over for so long. If you knew the facts it probably wouldn’t have gone this far. Owners started this

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 23rd, 2011
9:30 am

The owners are completely responsible for the mess the league is in now. They escalated these rookie salaries to such stupid levels of pay and no loss money contracts. If I were a vet, I would be insulted if an untested rookie, who had never played a second in the league, got three times what I made. You would think they would learn from some of their great rookie deals, like Ryan Leaf, and JaMarcus Russel. The owners greed has caused this labor problem, and if they think that the fans will just flock back into the stadiums, with higher cost, just to attend their game, they are sadly mistaken. It is getting too expensive to go to a pro. game anymore. Let them have their rich TV contract, because I can watch the game on TV, at 52 cents an hour of electricty, get a better view, not have to fight the traffic and cook my own hotdogs. I will stick to the NFL minor league games, the colleges and universities. I can watch them on TV as well, so as a fan of football, I can economize. If I want the crowd experience, I can bring over some friends and we can yell, like hell, in the rec. room or living room.

WnE

April 23rd, 2011
10:45 am

Sorry, it ain’t rocket science, but you aren’t making any sense, the NFL pays you based on what they think you can do in the NEAR FUTURE, basically all contracts are based on your projected production over the next 3 season more or less, if you play well, you get yrs. 4 & 5 , if you don’t you get CUT and most of that back-end money never materializes for the player in question.

NFL Owners “protecting themselves” with a rookie wage scale won’t free up any more money for Vets, because the GMs & Owners will isolate that Vet and his projected performance over the upcoming 3 yrs. and pay that Vet accordingly, giving LESS money to Rooks won’t do adamn thing for that Veteran player on the back-end of his career (yrs. 7 & later).

In summary, the OWNERS are trying to save themselves from their OWN POOR SCOUTING, they have no intention to transfer any money to “older players” at the expense of Rookies.

Older players like Gonzalez and fans like you are stupidly drinking the owners Kool-aid without looking at how owners have treated payers over the last 40 or so years.

If Gonzalez wanted to make the game better for future generations of NFL players then he should work on getting GUARANTEED CONTRACTS like MLB & the NBA has for its players if he is going to agree with taking Money from Rookies.

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 23rd, 2011
11:07 am

WNe,

The point I am making is, earn the big bucks first with performance. Giving someone like Cam Newton, a contract that will probably be in the 30 million dollar range, without him having played a down of the pro game is just stupid. How do you think the vet feels that is trying to get a new contract when his is up, feels when he sees a rookie, get three times what they are offering him. If you think they don’t collect the money whether they play or not, look at Mathew Stafford for example. I realize he has been hurt, because Detriot has no line to protect him, but he will make a minimum of 45 million if he never plays another down. A lot of money to pay for 13 games so far in two seasons. They need a reasonable rookie scale and if need be, have a pay scale all the way up for years, played and such. You could scale it right so that no one would get slighted. Do you think a team like detroit had a lot of money for free agency and the rest of the team after paying their rookie quarterback? Did he turn that team into a super bowl caliber team right off? Almost any company, is going to have a wage scale. If not, it is like paying the new cashier you hire at a store, more than the manager for instance. In the military, you earn your pay with your deeds that get you promotions. The cream rises to the top. It isn’t pushed from below.

AthensFalcon

April 23rd, 2011
11:25 am

I agree with what Tony G is saying. There is no way these teams should be paying rookies 72 million dollars right out of college when they don’t even know if they can play yet and on top of that most of them are only 20 and 21 years old.

SawThat1nce

April 23rd, 2011
3:45 pm

There absolutley needs to be a rookie wage scale in the NFL.

The Jama

April 23rd, 2011
5:04 pm

I am totally for a rookie wage scale. I understand that most players only last 3-4 in the league. This serves to prove my point, which the “real veterans” of the league are the ones deserving of the bigtime paychecks. They were good enough to make it through their rookie contract and have earned their payday.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 23rd, 2011
5:23 pm

I sho wis i hadz me a white gurl tonight…chit id right sumpton good din !!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 23rd, 2011
5:24 pm

sumpon bout a flat white azzs moving in de dark dat does it fo me. where all de white women at ?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 23rd, 2011
5:27 pm

If i was michael Bick i woulda got me a white gurl studa dat black woman he got. dat N_ _ _ _ r aint got no cents

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 23rd, 2011
5:28 pm

gone get me sum white azz to nite…

Billy

April 23rd, 2011
6:33 pm

the NFL definitely needs a rookie wage scale ala the NBA

N.O. is another name for the abyss

April 24th, 2011
12:29 pm

So Hiram, when you gonna relocate back to that hellhole known as The Big Sleazy?

Poopdawg

April 24th, 2011
1:24 pm

Did Gonzalez support this wage scale when he was a rookie? Are there any rookies in support of this? Not that it isn’t needed, but i do not want to here from someone who benefited from the current system bitching.

SeenThisB4

April 24th, 2011
4:04 pm

Ledbetter: Per your other article earlier today (Sunday) regarding the players’ organized team workouts: “There were 8 players at last Monday’s second session”. Eight? And Ryan and White are expected to join in this week? Come on, who are they trying to kid?

I would say that the best way to describe these team workouts is: FAIL.

Or perhaps, this familiar sounding term would be more appropriate: FAILCANT!