There apparently could be a CBA vote coming on Thursday, and we now know of an interesting new provision. The proposed CBA would change the way fifth-year options for first-round picks work, letting some top players cash in before they can get to free agency, sources told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. “If a first-round pick makes it to the Pro Bowl twice in his first three seasons, the amount of the fifth-year option would spike to the franchise tag for his position,” Florio writes. The current system is a bit complicated, with players drafted in the top 10 getting the transition tag price for their position in their fifth years.
Players not drafted in the top 10 get even less. Obviously this would only apply to a narrow slice of players, but it would represent a big pay bump for some of the league’s elite players prior to hitting the open market. As Florio points out Jalen Ramsey, the fourth overall pick in 2016, is set to make $13.7MM in 2020, which is the transition tag price for cornerbacks. Under the new proposed system he would’ve been set to make $16.4MM due to hitting the Pro Bowl requirement. We just got another update on the proposed marijuana policy, and we should hear a lot more about the new CBA this week.
Here’s more from the football universe:
- The XFL has received a fair amount of buzz, and things certainly appear to be better set up than they were for the ill-fated AAF. One way for them to get even more buzz would be to land a big name amateur player, and the league is keeping that option on the table. “We do have the ability to sign a college freshman or sophomore. …. We haven’t dipped our toe in that pond, but we could in the future,” XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, via Andrew Perloff (Twitter link). The XFL has had a fairly successful launch, but given that they currently aren’t even offering six-figure salaries, it’s still a bit hard to envision a top college player willingly departing the NCAA ranks.
- We’ve heard that the 49ers plan to make an offseason extension for George Kittle a priority, and it probably can’t be overstated just how much Kittle is going to reset the market. The report from a couple of weeks ago was that Kittle’s floor would be around $13MM annually, and as former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry points out, the top of the market has been stuck at around $10MM annually for a while. Corry notes that Jimmy Graham became the first $10MM tight end all the way back in 2014, but that the market has been completely stagnant ever since. In Corry’s piece, which is well worth a read, he takes a look at how the salaries for the position are going to change big time around the league. Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper are about to be free agents, and several other big names are going to get new deals soon. It’ll be very interesting to see what number Kittle ends up getting.