Pro Football Talk is reporting that the NFL owners and players have reached an agreement on a rookie wage scale as part of their ongoing negotiations.
According to PFT, here's what the compromise looks like.
-Rookie contracts for first-round picks will be limited to four years. Currently, players taken in the first 16 picks of the first round can sign for as long as six years, and the remaining first rounders can sign for as long as five years.
-Players drafted after the first round would be limited to three-year contracts, and become restricted free agents in the fourth year.
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, there is also expected to be language in the compromise that will limit the amount of guaranteed money and signing bonuses offered to draft picks.
The initial proposal from the owners called for the first overall pick in the draft to be given a maximum five-year contract worth $19 million, only $6 million of which would have been guaranteed. To contrast, last year's #1 pick, Sam Bradford, signed a six-year, $72 million contract with $50 million in guaranteed money. (The league backed off of that one, but nobody knows how far at this point.)
Also expected to be included in the deal is language to make it easier for owners to recoup money from players that get in trouble with the law. This likely stems from what happened with Michael Vick, who Judge David Doty ruled could keep over $20 million in signing bonus money, even after going to prison on charges stemming from the dog fighting ring he was running.
So, there's some progress. . .of course, if they can't get an agreement on the bigger issues, this ultimately won't matter, but it's a bit of positivity in any case.