Advantageous to Be 2nd Rounder
Texas A&M Pass Rusher Damontre Moore is 20 Years Old. In my opinion, his Representatives have every incentive to attempt to make him a Second Round Selection, despite being considered a surefire First Rounder just a few months ago. The same mindset could be applied to other prospects, in particular Keenan Allen or David Amerson.
With the 11th Overall Pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Damontre Mooore is Selected.
Paralleling Dontari Poe's deal from 2012.
Rookie Contract: 4 Years 11.93 Million (Fully Guaranteed)
Damontre Moore posts Double digit sack seasons in X Teams 3-4 Defense in 2015 & 2016.
Team X exercises 5th Year Option (Average Salary of top 3-25 NFL Linebackers). Damontre earns 6.0 Million in 2017.
Despite attempts to reach an extension, the team seems opposed. After another Double Digit campaign in 2017, Team X Franchise Tags Moore for 2018- Salary 10.5 Million (Estimated 120% higher than 2012 FT Number for Linebackers).
Damontre's Agent appeals arguing Moore is a Defensive End but the independent arbiter sides with the team.
Looking for a longterm deal, the team is opposed & the Franchise Tag option still exists for the 2019 Season at 120% of the previous years salary (12.6 Million).
Having been a First Round Pick, Damontre Moore's salary breakdown is as follows: 7 Years 41.03 Million
2013 (21): 2.258 Million
2014 (22): 2.696 Million
2015 (23): 3.167 Million
2016 (24): 3.809 Million
2017 (25): 6.0 Million
2018 (26): 10.5 Million
2019 (27): 12.6 Million
Moore tests UFA & signs a longterm deal with another club. Over the course of his career, Moore will earn almost $ 90 million on the field.
Damontre Moore is drafted 45th Overall- Stock falls for various reasons.
Rookie Contract: 4 Years 4.67 Million
Pleasant surprise, Moore is the same premier pass rusher as Scenario 1. After 4 Years, a 24 Year old Edge Rusher is an Unrestricted Free Agent after back-to-back 10+ Sack campaigns.
The Club places the Franchise Tag on Damontre & he will earn 10.25 Million in 2017. As Damontre's Agent, you schedule a sit down with the General Manager.
Agent: 'Damontre was a pleasant surprise. He's 24 Years Old & one of the leagues premier pass rushers. I view the Franchise Tag as a placeholder. We'd like a longterm commitment.'
GM: 'Damontre has been tremendous for us & don't forget he'll be 25 just days after next year starts. But you do know NFL Clubs are permitted to use the Franchise Tag for Two consecutive years. So hypothetically, we could pay Damontre 10.25 Million in 2017 & 12.3 Million in 2018'.
Agent: I'm sure that presents your Club w/ Salary Cap issues. Damontre is committed to helping you build a winner. Let's do a 4 Year 40.0 Million deal (18.0 M Guaranteed). We'll backload it to provide you with Cap Space so you keep your job!
GM: That sounds like reasonable terms.
Breakdown: Affords the GM cap room in 2017 & locks up Damontre Moore through 2020. Will again be a UFA at 28. Per the agreement, the club relinquishes right to apply Franchise Tag when deal expires. By backloading the deal, you approach the team after Year 3 (Damontre's 27) & discuss another extension. The window on players careers is not indefinite. Opportunities to land lucrative contracts is the crux of the business.
Larry Fitzgerald created this Model. Fitz secured 3 major paydays by age 28. The 30 barrier has become near absolute. The league is getting younger. The backend of rosters are filled by UDFAs rather than veterans. It's different for marquee players. On Defense, players that impact 3rd Down will be highly paid in the pass first league. But the window expires quickly. Look at the 2013 UFAs that signed lucrative deals. The major commonality- They were all in their 20s.
The degree to which it is advantageous to be a 2nd Rounder is tangible. In scenario 1, the team has leverage with the 5th Year Option & potential to control the player for two additional years on the Franchise Tag.
In reality, the team would only apply the Franchise Tag once. This means the player is controlled for 6 Years & becomes a UFA at 27. Hitting the open market, you're going to seek a 5 Year deal & this is the players loan opportunity to cash-in on the FA Market. It's how he'll set up his family for generations & how as an Agent you'll earn the big bucks.
By being a First Rounder, securing Two Major paydays beyond the Rookie contract becomes an arduous task for an Agent. For this reason, we will see prospects under the CBA structure attempt to decrease stock & be 2nd Round Selections.
For this reason, the CBA Structure & Rookie Wage Scale is Broken. It's inherently flawed. I return to Larry Fitzgerald because he's the Model- Earned 3 MAJOR paydays prior to 28, including an over 100 Million deal last year. Currently attempting to emulate this model are Calvin Johnson, Percy Harvin & Darrelle Revis, albeit at different stages.
Expect more Positive Drugs Tests, Missed Meetings, Slow 40s, Bad Workouts, & Miserable Private Interviews. It's financially prudent to fall into Round 2. The difference financially between hypothetically 25 & 40 isn't really overwhelming. And ultimately, if you can sign a Larry Fitzgerald or Mario Williams type final contract- It's easier if you're a 2nd Round Pick.
The opposition will argue, how does X player know he'll be Stud in the league? The answer- He doesn't. But as an Agent, you are permitted to earn 3% of players total compensation. You're being incentivized to land major 2nd paydays, because you're not going to earn your living off rookie contracts on the Wage Scale. And if you want to earn the maximum amount of money, it's by negotiating a players Rookie Deal & 2 Extensions.
You make a valid point about backloading contracts and attempting to secure three big paydays before a player reaches age 30 but this has little to do with draft position. The players you cite as being prime examples of this strategy were all 1st round picks.
The scenarios you use are not directly comparable. Using your examples of Moore (and belief that the Franchise Tag is never used more than once), either he is drafted 11th overall earns $17.93 million over the 5 years of his rookie contract (including option year), is franchised in his 6th year at $10.5 million and then becomes an UDFA aged 27 or he is drafted 45th overall earns $4.67 million over the 4 years of his rookie contract, is franchised in his 5th year at $10.25 million and becomes an UDFA aged 26.
Therefore as a 1st round pick, Moore earns $28.43 million over 6 years and as a 2nd round pick he earns $14.92 million over 5 years and would need to earn over $13 million in the first year of his free agent contract for it to have been more financially prudent to be a 2nd round pick.
Your example is based upon smooth negotiations in one scenario and not in the other, whereas theoretically two players who have been equally productive during their time in the league would receive a contract of equal value (of course, in the example the contracts would differ as in the 1st round scenario would be a year older but also have a further year of productivity).
Your point holds more validity at the end of the 1st round as the difference in salary between the 32nd and 33rd picks is minimal but the player selected at the top of the 2nd round would hit free agency a year earlier. Yet it would still only be advantageous to be a 2nd round pick if the player earnt more from the first year of their free agent contract than the average salary of the top 3-25 contracts at their position.
Even here, I have not considered the question of deliberately lowering a player's draft stock and questions that a prospect would have to face regarding their postive drugs tests, missed meetings etc. that you mention. The draft is a process that cannot be inherently manipulated and there is no certainty in how much a player's stock would change because of an agent's attempts to influence the process (either positive or negative).
I was saying that Moore was hurting his draft stock on Purpose and people thought I was crazy. My theory was that he wanted to be drafted by one of the better more popular teams, which would make him more famous there fore more endorsements, pro bowls, big contract and more money.
I believe under the new CBA with its rookie salary cap, it is far more avantages to be drafted in round 2 unless you are a top 10 pick, provided you become a star, otherwise all bets are off.
Besides the money, you have to factor in the possibility of a serious injury before a 5 year contract player reaches FA vs a 4 year contract before a player reaches FA.
You also have to be careful about talking about franchising with the cap now flat, franchising is far more rare than it used to be because a lot of teams simply lack cap space to franchise anybody.
So to actually compare being a 1st round pick to being a 2nd round pick, you have to be talking about a star player not just some run of the mill starter. Neither can suffer a major injury, and you also have to remember that position is very important.
If those conditions exist, an argument can be made, that it is far better to be drafted in round 2 or later than anywhere above the top 10 of round 1.
Take a QB like Wilson or Kaepernick, they will be FA's in a much shorter time than Luck or RG111, Wilson by a full 2 years, so both Wilson and Kaepernick have a shot to get into the 20 million dollar salary range far ahead of Luck and RG111 and it is very possible they could end up making more money during their careers because of it.
If however, we look at RB's, you definitely want your money up front so the preference is likely to favour being a round 1 pick since careers are so short.
Other positions might also favour a lower draft pick but since you cannot ever be sure of length of career, there is zero guarantee it would ever pay off so getting paid more earlier is always advisable in a rough sport like football where one injury might ruin your career.
Add in the fact that teams like Pittsburgh, NE and Indy were notoriously cheap, so the idea you could make more money playing for them is absurd.
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