The NFL and the league office are working on a proposal to create a top-heavy league, which would allow teams to keep more draft picks than a traditional top-five or top-three draft order.
The idea is to give the owners more leverage to change the draft order, with the owners receiving compensation for draft picks in the first year.
In theory, this would be an effective way to make the draft a more stable and fair process, as well as to reduce the number of picks the league can use for free agency, and for players to sign with the team that drafted them.
The NFLPA, which represents 32 teams, is already opposed to this proposal.
“If they want to be the top-ranked team in the league, they’ve got to have the same cap space,” said former New York Jets running back Rex Burkhead, who’s now with the Dallas Cowboys.
“There’s not enough room in the top 10.
You’re not going to be able to get a top 10 pick, unless you’ve got the money to do that.
And they’re going to have to have a lot more cap space.”
A top-10 pick could be worth millions of dollars, even if the franchise does not win a title.
Burkhead said that teams who sign free agents to long-term contracts are not guaranteed to get top picks.
“I think the players are going to realize that they’re getting ripped off and they’re not getting the money they were hoping to get,” Burkhead told CBSSports.com.
“They’re going be angry.
It’s going to make things more difficult, but they have to be ready.”
One NFL executive said it’s unclear if the top teams in the NFL would be able access the same draft capital that the league could.
“It’s hard to figure out what the impact would be of this if the owners could have a greater say in the draft, but it’s not clear,” the executive said.
Burkheads advice to NFL owners?
“Don’t get involved in this.”
Burkhead also said that the owners would have a tougher time negotiating with players in the future.
“That’s something we’ll be looking at as the owners get more leverage in the process,” he said.
Burkheads comments came as the NFL has been trying to figure a way to increase the number and quality of players on the roster. “
So, they’ll have to start thinking about how they’re able to leverage more cap room to get better players and better deals.”
Burkheads comments came as the NFL has been trying to figure a way to increase the number and quality of players on the roster.
The league is working on proposals to help teams with the salary cap and compensatory draft picks.
Some of those proposals have already been put forward by the owners.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told CBS Sports that he would be surprised if the league had the votes to change draft order and cap space by the time the 2016 draft is over.
“No one in the world can make this happen.
And if you’ve been in this business forever and you’re still in this industry, you know that.
But there is a process that can be done.
We’ll see,” Smith said.