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Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Raiders would benefit from rookie pay scale

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

The Oakland Raiders are among the NFL teams that were inspirations for the league as it presents a new rookie pay scale.

Since 2000, the Raiders have drafted 13 players in the first round. They contracted for a total $164,105,636 in guaranteed money before any of them played in an NFL game. That is an average of $12,623,510 per player. The Raiders have selected six players in the top 10 of the draft since 2004 -- Rolando McClain, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Darren McFadden, JaMarcus Russell, Michael Huff and Robert Gallery -- who signed for $136,686,636 in guaranteed money for an average of $22,781,106 per player. The Raiders’ first round guaranteed money total is among the highest in the NFL since 2000.

A major reason why Oakland had paid out so much is because it has often drafted high in the past decade. That's the basis of the NFL's new rookie pay proposal. It wants to streamline the pay scale. The NFL reportedly wants to cut almost 60 percent of guaranteed pay for first-round draft picks and divert the savings to veterans' salaries and benefits in an attempt to solve the month-old lockout.