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Rookie salaries will be relevant for Pats

Posted by Albert Breer  June 28, 2010 11:50 AM

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A few factors are at work here.

First, if the Raiders show enough fight to become mediocre, or better than that, in 2010, things change. If you look at how rookies are paid, really only the Top 8 or so are out of this world (If B.J. Raji becomes what the Packers think he'll be, you think they'll regret giving him $5-6 million a year?). So if Oakland plays well enough for the pick to rise out of the top quarter of the first round (like some believe the Raiders will), then the Patriots will certainly be less effected by what happens in this facet of CBA talks.

Also, there's the idea that a new rookie salary scale, in any scenario, wouldn't go into effect until 2012. Word was out there last year, in an effort to keep a mass exodus of underclassmen from happening, that that would be the case. And on top of that, a potential lockout wouldn't happen until after the draft, so there's a chance that you'd be selecting college kids without knowing how the CBA talks, in this particular regard, were going to work out.

Anyway, the way this ends should have a major impact on whether the Patriots decide to keep the pick or deal it, if it is, indeed, near the top of the draft. It's something that's on the players' minds, and something that is one of the union's leverage points, so it's worth keeping an eye on.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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