In a collaboration between agent Neil Schwartz and Mike Florio for Pro Football Talk, an idea to make veteran players more attractive to teams and to ensure that all NFL players live comfortably was explained. The idea: for all NFL players to have a minimum salary, regardless of experience.
Currently, the league determines minimum salary to experience. For new players, the minimum is $450,000, while for players with 10 or more years experience, it rises to $985,000. Due to this spending gap, younger players are more attractive to teams. There is a “minimum salary benefit,” which is in place to provide teams with a salary cap break on older players with minimum-salary deals, but not a cash break.
This salary gap is partially due to the existing collective bargaining agreement through the performance-based pool, which gives the lowest-paid players more money based on how much they play. This money comes mostly from the league, so with the last guys on the 53-man roster teams are choosing young players to keep costs low.
Schwartz and Florio believe the minimum salary should be the same, regardless of experience, and a good place to start is $1 million. This can be increased based upon increases in the salary cap. This will cost nothing for the owners, since they are already operating under the salary cap. Some of the league’s richest players might take a salary hit in order to reach this salary “floor.”
For more on this idea, head over to Pro Football Talk here.