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USA Today: NFL rookie pay not an issue for new union boss

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 08:09 PM
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USA Today: NFL rookie pay not an issue for new union boss

New NFL Players Association president DeMaurice Smith began his 28-team tour with the Dallas Cowboys yesterday and said he doesn't consider rookie salaries to be a hot-button issue.

That matter has gained widespread attention in the wake of No. 1 draft pick Matthew Stafford having $41.7 million of his 6-year, $72 million deal with Detroit guaranteed.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated rookie wages will be a big part of upcoming labor negotiations, but Smith contended its not an issue.

Smith said no Dallas players raised the issue Tuesday, nor did any at the draft.

"I was in that room and not one person said that to me," Smith said. "And for the entire time I was at the draft, seeing both veteran and current players, not one person said that to me," Smith told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Smith put the onus for high rookie pay on the owners.

"When Mr. Goodell announces that draft pick, they do recognize that he announces which pick it is, which team it is and what guy it is," he said. "And I dont see a player, a veteran player, involved in that at all. I guess what Im saying is, I dont even understand why the question is being put to us. The owners make that decision on who theyre picking and how much to pay them."

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