The most only intriguing story about the NFL draft is Jerry Jones’ supposed obsession with Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. There’s been plenty of rumors in the past few weeks that Jones is piecing together a gargantuan offer for teams in the NFL draft’s top five spots to pick over - in order to land McFadden for the Cowboys.
(Sad: They were perfect for each other)
But Jones completely debunked that notion today in comments to Randy Galloway of the FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM.
From Galloway’s piece:
“I have no intent at all of moving into the top five,” Jones said, while also stressing this was not a comment on McFadden’s talent, but a fear factor of paying any rookie today’s top-five going rate.
“A team can get crippled, and I mean seriously crippled, from a financial standpoint by being up there in the top five or six. It’s a real negative.
“Nobody wants in there, and the teams in there, they want out. This is a very tough draft anyway when it comes to evaluating the talent, and then trying to match up that with the millions it takes to operate at the top of the draft.”
Now, we’re like you, we don’t completely believe anything Jones says (or does for that matter, seeing some of the work he’s had done).
More interesting than Jones’ resisting making a move to get into the upper reaches of the draft is the financial dilemma facing the league, when it comes to paying rookies. The NFL has forever had the most favorable salary setup, at least from the owner’s standpoint, of the major sports leagues. But thanks to top picks now getting upwards of $20-30M in guaranteed, up-front monies, the league plainly has a blind spot when it comes to controlling first-year player costs. That as opposed to the NBA, which caps what a rookie can make.
That’s probably be the next great grappling point when the CBA between the NFL owners and players expires. And hopefully, at least for the veterans’ sake, those rookie numbers will be knocked down and the wealth better distributed throughout the roster.