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Colts president Polian says NFL draft needs updating

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Old 02-26-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
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Colts president Polian says NFL draft needs updating

Colts president Polian says NFL draft needs updating

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian isn't sure if having a top 10 draft pick would be worth it.

His Colts don't have a selection until late in the second round. He explained Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine why his team might be better off that way.

Polian said good teams like the Colts are less likely than in the past to trade up for an early pick because of the required financial commitment. Last year's top pick, JaMarcus Russell, missed all of training camp in a contract dispute before getting $29 million in guarantees.

"Trades are a unique thing in the first round anymore because of the cost of the top 10 picks financially," he said. "To take on that cost ... is almost counterintuitive."

Polian said agents have driven up the cost of the early picks, making it more difficult than ever for struggling franchises to improve. He said that cost can hamper teams for years, especially if they make a mistake on a pick or the player gets injured.

"The draft was designed to either allow the weakest teams, based on record, to choose the best players, or if they chose not to take a particular player, to gather a bunch of picks to further accelerate their growth and competitiveness," he said. "That's now been skewed by the cost of the picks in the first round.

"When that's skewed and changed because of the agents, that isn't a good thing for the game."
Polian said the system also makes it difficult for a team drafting early to acquire pieces to put around the high pick. He said making the right pick is possible, but difficult.

"What it can do, if you're fortunate enough to get a Peyton Manning, is it can change your franchise," he said. "It gives you a guy who can lead you to the promised land, can help you be a good team for a long time. If you miss on that pick, economics aside, you still set yourself back."

Polian said he expects the system to change eventually. He said the league could change the pay scale or create a slotting system like the NBA has, creating a fixed rate for draft positions.
But the current system, he feels, needs to be updated so the league can remain balanced.

"Our game is based on competitive balance and the fact that every year, every franchise believes they can win, unlike other sports. You can go from worst to first in a year.

"It's not about money, it's about the integrity of the game on the field."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: Colts president Polian says NFL draft needs updating

I completely agree with him, the way the draft is now it needs updating. I'd like to see a fixed rookie cap so that each pick earns a set amount of money based on where they are drafted. Whoever is gonna get drafted first overall this year is probably gonna get more money than a guy who is probably a proven vet in this league with multiple Pro Bowl's under his belt, and that's not fair.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: Colts president Polian says NFL draft needs updating

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooby View Post
I completely agree with him, the way the draft is now it needs updating. I'd like to see a fixed rookie cap so that each pick earns a set amount of money based on where they are drafted. Whoever is gonna get drafted first overall this year is probably gonna get more money than a guy who is probably a proven vet in this league with multiple Pro Bowl's under his belt, and that's not fair.
I know. It just seems though that the draft is headed in the same direction as baseball trying to get a salary cap and by that I mean that the rookies salaries are getting so high that it'll be hard to put a limit on the amount. I don't know the unions stance on rookies, so I don't know how much they would appreciate having rookie salaries becoming so structured.

Either way I would like to see a lottery for the top 19 picks and a set amount for each draft position, regardless of position. Or maybe they could come up with a formula that uses the franchise tag amounts as a base and use the corresponding draft position to come up with a fair amount that counts for the spot the player is drafted in as well as his position. Obviously players won't get the franchise tag amount, but rather a percentage of that amount.

Like say the amount for QB's with the franchise tag is $10 million. The first spot will be worth 75% of the franchise tag amount for that position. So a QB drafted first overall will make approximately $7.5 million a year for the first year, 75% value of the franchise tag for the second year, and 75% value of the franchise tag the third year. Of course with the numbers top picks are getting these days those amounts are a pipe dream. However you still get the point.

To illustrate my concept:
1st overall pick is equal to 75% of the franchise tag at that position for 3 years. .

2nd overall pick is equal to 74% of the franchise tag at that position for 3 years.

and so on.
- In this system the signing bonus should be designed to make it difficult to move the player without incluring a lost due to deaad cap.

- So each year the contracts value is worth 75% of the franchise tag for that year until the players 4th year in the league when they become an unrestricted Free Agent.
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