Harvey Situation Typifies NFL Problems

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn't mention Derrick Harvey by name a few weeks back when he talked about the absurd money the NFL pays high draft picks, but he might as well have. It's situations like the one involving the former Gator defensive end that is going to lead the NFL to fight for a rookie wage scale in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Harvey is still a holdout as of Thursday morning, missing significant practice time with the Jacksonville Jaguars who chose him with the eighth pick of the NFL Draft back in April. Reports out of Jacksonville indicate that Harvey's agent is seeking a deal that will guarantee the 6-4, 265-pounder something close to $19 million dollars.

That about that, a guarantee of $19 million for a guy who has yet to prove he can do anything at the next level.

I'm not anti-Harvey. In fact, I probably had a better relationship with the big guy than any other media type in Gainesville. And I'm happy for him that he can be set for life with this one deal if he handles his money correctly. But it doesn't change the fact that the NFL is insane to continue this system.

NBA Has it Right

The NFL has long been the best run of the three major sports leagues, but they sure could learn from the NBA in this situation. The NBA and its players' association agreed on a rookie wage scale years ago after seeing absurd riches being heaped on high draft picks.

It's not like the NBA asks its high draft picks to work for $10 an hour. The top pick in this past draft, Derrick Rose will receive at least $8 million over two years, and assuming the team picks up his option in years three and four (and they almost always do), Rose will get another $10 million.

I don't know about you, but $18 million over four years sounds pretty good to me. And that's for the very first pick. Marreese Speights was chosen 16th by Philadelphia and he's assured of at least $2,667,400 for two years' work.

The NBA pays its rookies well, but more importantly they get their rookies into camp quickly, which is better for both the player and the organization. The NFL needs to implement a similar system so guys like Derrick Harvey (and JaMarcus Russell last year) don't all but ruin their first season in the league by holding out for riches they have yet to earn.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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