I read a report this morning that Arkansas’ junior wide receiver, Joe Adams, was going to declare early for the NFL draft, and it really had me questioning why.
Adams, while an electric slot option, and possible kick and punt returner is widely considered a mid round pick for next season, and isn’t going to be taken very highly in a draft class as stocked at wide receiver as this one is.
After hearing several people say it was to cash in ahead of the impending rookie salary cap likely to to implemented in the next NFL Collective bargaining agreement, I felt that I needed to clear some misinformation up that has been going around the web for about two years now.
The problem with underclassmen leaving early in an attempt to “cash in” is that with the impending lockout, potential draftees will place themselves between a rock and a hard place. If, for instance, a new CBA is put into place and the league avoids a lockout, draftees would be subject to the new CBA, and thus subject to the new rookie wage scale. Which would defeat the purpose of leaving early to cash in in the first place.
If, however, no new CBA is reached, then draftees would simply be drafted and not signed… leaving them without a contract and ultimately with no money until a CBA is reached. Once the CBA is reached, they would still fall under its provisions, again highly likely having a rookie wage scale.
For a player like Joe Adams, who plays for a good team, likely to return many good players next season, it would be highly advisable to stay in school, where he can continue to work on his game, get his degree, and live on scholarship and not have to pay for things, versus declaring for the draft, and possibly living in limbo with no work or income for sometime. especially with the 2011 draft class as loaded at the wide receiver position as it is.