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.
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