You can’t be too rich to cheat an NFL rookie: there’s no shame in the Redskins or Rams organizations

Sport teaches many important lessons. One important lesson it teaches is you can’t be so rich that you’ll pass up the chance to swindle a greenhorn, or in this case, a college football star.

The Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams, worth $1.55 billion and $779 million respectively, according to Forbes Magazine, just pulled a neat swindle of two rookies who dreamed of NFL glory and big bucks.

Here’s how it works: the NFL has a rule that guarantees a drafted player $263,500 (that’s 85 percent of the first year minimum wage) if the team that drafted him releases him. But there’s always a way around the rule, if you don’t have Jiminy Cricket, or your mother, whispering in your ear, “Do what’s right.”

So the Rams traded linebacker Hall Davis, their fifth round draft choice, to the Redskins for tight end Dennis Morris (pictured), the Redskins sixth round choice. The Redskins cut Davis after one practice; the Rams apparently plan to cut Morris later this week.

So apparently you can cut each other’s draftees and not have to pay. Shades of the Hitchcock thriller, Strangers on a Train.

Thanks to ESPN, who unearthed this story. They report that the NFL is investigating.

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3 Responses to “You can’t be too rich to cheat an NFL rookie: there’s no shame in the Redskins or Rams organizations”

  1. Jack Marshall Says:

    I’ve read the ESPN story four times, and it still doesn’t make any sense. “Instead of being guaranteed 85 percent of the first-year minimum if they were released by the drafting club, as some team executives believed, the $272,000 savings must be reallocated for each player to rookies on the roster, based on playing time, according to the collective bargaining agreement.” What awful writing. If the Redskins and Rams are cheating someone, it’s uncertain who they think they’re cheating. the way I read it, the cut players don’t get the money ether way. Or not.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    Maybe the Rams and Redskins GMs couldn’t understand it either. It’s apparent they were trying to cheat somebody, else why would they trade and cut?

    I think the ESPN writing was a failed attempt to explain the collective bargaining agreement: CBA Article XVII, Section 4 states, “In League Years for which no Salary Cap is in effect, 85% of any amount contracted by a team to be paid from the Team’s Rookie Allocation to a Rookie, but not actually paid by the Team to that player, either as a rookie, or as a re-signed first-year player or practice squad player, which amount was not paid because that player was released, will be distributed to all rookies on such Team promptly after the end of the season on a pro rata basis based upon the number of downs played.”

  3. Jack Marshall Says:

    It sure confused me!

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