26 Apr 2005
This is why I think the NFL needs to move to an NBA-style rookie contract system where a player's first contract is small, but he becomes a free agent quickly and then earns what the market will bear. The Cardinals drafted receivers Anquan Boldin and Bryant Johnson in the same season. Boldin has 157 catches for 2,000 yards. Johnson has 84 catches for 975 yards. Contract numbers are somewhat elusive, but according to the research I've done, Boldin got a four-year, $2.58 million contract, while Johnson got a five-year contract that will be worth between $8 million and $12 million, depending on various incentives, but he's already earned more than the whole value of Boldin's deal. Boldin wants a new contract, and it's hard to blame him.
The league's northern divisions pose a number of meaty questions, such as: "Is the Bears' offense due for a repeat performance?" "Why do the Lions have such pronounced splits?" and "Has Johnny Manziel made the Cleveland brass even crazier?"