Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Should Rookies Get Paid High Salaries?
The argument has been made for many years by many people, saying that rookies should not get the big money before doing anything for their respective teams. This seems to have some validity on the face of it, but with just a little bit of thought, it is obvious that they indeed deserve every penny that the system will give them.
In America people look for jobs at any company they choose and negotiate a salary. The more impressive your resume, the more money you can command on the open market and in times of lower unemployment, some companies even give signing bonuses to top talent--BEFORE they work for the company (Tom Cruise in "The Firm").
In pro sports there is a draft system, not allowing players to negotiate freely on the open market to the highest bidder. No, Matthew Stafford had to play for the Detroit Lions this year or sit out. Andre Smith sits at home waiting to play football for the Cincinnati Bengals, but they can decline to "play ball" in the competitive marketplace and deny his ability to earn a salary even though other teams would pay him, but he cannot negotiate with anyone but the tight-fisted Bengals.
Same for the flame-throwing baseball player that signed minute before the deadline or he was out of pro baseball for the year. This is not a fair system and that is why there are collective bargaining agreements between owners and player's unions.
We are paid on potential. You can't price-fix in the U.S.A. The NFL has already been sued of price fixing. On the open market or in the closed market, what you might do in the future (based on previous work like college games) is just as valuable to your future employer's sales and marketing teams as the proven pro. Actually many times the next newest star is more valuable.