Posted on: June 2, 2008 7:30 pm

Blog Cabin: Proven players deserve to get paid

In the news...

Let's get serious for a minute...

We absolutely must put a cap on how much money NFL rookies can make.

JaMarcus Russell signed a huge contract with the Raiders last year, and what did the Raiders get? 373 passing yards and a 4-12 record.

This year, Matt Ryan, the third overall pick, got a $72 million contract with $35 million in guarantees. We're talking about a guy being paid like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning without even stepping on to an NFL field.

What if he turns out to be the next Tim Couch? Or worse yet, the next Ryan Leaf? Uugh, I shudder at the thought.

The solution should be a mandatory three-year contract for rookies taken in the first two rounds. The contract would be worth a certain amount, depending on the round and pick. There would be a designated a price range for these players, but the teams and agents could work out a deal within those terms.

It just makes no sense to pay an unproven player as much as multiple Pro-Bowlers and Super Bowl winners. Not when there are guys like Marques Colston in the league to help me make my argument... and every team has one.

Man, sometimes, you really can't hold it against an "underpaid" player who wants to hold out.

I know... I can't believe I said it either, but it's true.

Let's take the Colston example... He's twice as good as any receiver the Lions have ever drafted. He's better than Bernard Berrian. Comparing him to Javon Walker's overpaid butt is just laughable.

In fact, Colston stacks right up there with the best in the league, but he's getting paid the minimum salary because he was taken in the seventh round.

Here are a few quick stats from the 2007 season. Terrell Owens had 81 receptions for 1,355 yards and 15 touchdowns. Randy Moss caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns. Ocho Cinco racked up 93 receptions for 1,440 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Colston - 98 catches, for 1202 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The numbers are pretty close to the big boys, but he's getting paid a fraction of their salaries.

In this year's draft, no receivers were taken in the first round, but I'll guarantee you that all those second-rounders are going to get more money than Colston this year. And, maybe, one of them puts up numbers like Colston did his rookie year, when he amassed 70 receptions, 1,038 yards and 8 touchdowns... and that was in 14 games.

My point is this... If a player proves himself in the first two years of his rookie contract, then, and only then, should he be able to restructure his contract for the third year or for an extension.

This plan would allow teams to keep their young and talented players, while not disrespecting the veterans. Meanwhile, budding stars, like Colston, can be rewarded, while players that don't produce can be cut with little money invested and no salary cap penalties.

From the Blogosphere...

Harst is back on the list with a sweet afro avatar and an even sweeter NBA Finals preview. No kidding, this blog is awesome. Take a look.

So, who won out in the Josh Hamilton for Edison Volquez trade? Metheronia breaks it down for both sides.

Check out The Bong Zone for a conversation about Tom Brady and his skill players. Specifically, Bong wonders how most of Tom's supporting cast seems to do better when he's not on the field. I know... It sounds funny to me, too, but check out the stats.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com