You’ve probably heard about the amazing number of juniors leaving LSU early for the glory and riches of the NFL draft, but you may not have gotten the entire story.
The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement, which was signed in 2011, cut into the gap in pay for rookies drafted in the top rounds and lower rounds. That has created more reason to jump even when a player’s draft stock could be improved with another season.
“More and more you are going to see middle-round juniors entering the draft because of the new pay scale from the new CBA,” Detillier said. “As a third or fourth round pick, you can make between $350,000 to $500,000 with a signing bonus. And it’s not worth it financially to stay another year in college to go up a round because the money is about the same. LSU is just one of the first real test cases where you had an extremely talented junior class. There will be others like this from other schools in the future.” [Emphasis added.]
Miles may try to spin this as being a sign of success for his program, but if LSU tumbles a bit next season as a result of the departures, let’s see if he’s as sanguine about it then.
My bet is that if this trend continues, you’ll start hearing coaches at the major programs talk more about paying their players.