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NFL team president speaks out on the draft


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http://www.nfl.com/combine/story?id=09000d...mp;confirm=true

 

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."

 

The system is broken and needs fixing fast. Like Polian says the teams drafting early are stuck making high-risk decisions because of the financial commitment that comes with picking early.

 

Look at the Russell incident. 29 million guaranteed and he hadn't even put on a pair of pads. Tuck played his heart out this past season and gets a 30 million contract that isn't even guaranteed. Granted different positions but still, unproven rookie vs. proven veteran with the unproven rookie coming up the big winner financially.

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http://www.nfl.com/combine/story?id=09000d...mp;confirm=true

The system is broken and needs fixing fast. Like Polian says the teams drafting early are stuck making high-risk decisions because of the financial commitment that comes with picking early.

 

Look at the Russell incident. 29 million guaranteed and he hadn't even put on a pair of pads. Tuck played his heart out this past season and gets a 30 million contract that isn't even guaranteed. Granted different positions but still, unproven rookie vs. proven veteran with the unproven rookie coming up the big winner financially.

I've often thought about this and how it's a killer to have one of the top 5 picks because they can break the bank just getting their signature. When I see teams like Oakland who has been perennially near the top of the drafting order, I wonder how they can afford it. To top it off, they also get the top picks in the next round which often go as high as last half first rounders.

 

There should be a "set salary" for each position, while giving teams plenty of lateral space to adjust length of contracts, incentives, conditional contracts, etc.

 

The system definitely needs tweaking. Heck, many times a 15th - 20th pick turns out to be a better player than anyone in the top 5. And how often do you see late round picks and undrafted players turning out to be pro-bowlers? Happens every year.

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Polian said agents have driven up the cost of the early picks

 

 

Well duh, who'd have thunk agents representing athletes would try to get as much money as possible for their guys. here's a thought.....1: guarantee most of the contract so players don't feel like they will be left in the cold if they get hurt. 2: Don't agree to so much money.

 

 

If every team got together every offseason and agreed on a top salary forevery free agent and top 50 draft picks, this wouldn't be a concern. but instead, you have the Snyders of the world, the Polians, and yes, the Rees's, who pay a back up DE top tier money.

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Well duh, who'd have thunk agents representing athletes would try to get as much money as possible for their guys. here's a thought.....1: guarantee most of the contract so players don't feel like they will be left in the cold if they get hurt. 2: Don't agree to so much money.

If every team got together every offseason and agreed on a top salary forevery free agent and top 50 draft picks, this wouldn't be a concern. but instead, you have the Snyders of the world, the Polians, and yes, the Rees's, who pay a back up DE top tier money.

that would be collusion and against the law or in football's case at least against the bargaining agreement i believe.

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http://www.nfl.com/combine/story?id=09000d...mp;confirm=true

The system is broken and needs fixing fast. Like Polian says the teams drafting early are stuck making high-risk decisions because of the financial commitment that comes with picking early.

 

Look at the Russell incident. 29 million guaranteed and he hadn't even put on a pair of pads. Tuck played his heart out this past season and gets a 30 million contract that isn't even guaranteed. Granted different positions but still, unproven rookie vs. proven veteran with the unproven rookie coming up the big winner financially.

 

It needs to be capped like in the NHL. I think the NHL's rules are only a certain base contract but you can load it with performance incentives. Many people think that the Dolphin's want to trade down but as the article points out many teams don't want to trade up anymore. The salary for that one player is just going to be too high.

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