Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez: New rookie wage system “seems like common sense”

Tony Gonzalez

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, an 11-time Pro Bowler in 14 NFL seasons, discussed yesterday the potential benefits of a rookie wage system.

“I think that would cut down on a lot of problems if you let these rookies come in and earn that money,” Gonzalez said Tuesday on Sports Talk Radio 610 in Houston. “That’s kind of similar to what the NBA does. There is a cap.

“For a rookie to come in and make $60-70 million guaranteed, I say – and everybody can agree with that — is absolutely ridiculous,” Gonzalez continued. “They have not played a down on that field. You might as well take that money and give that to the veterans and maybe that solves some type of problem where we do give back a little bit to the ownership. Like I said, that’s just my opinion. I don’t know what’s going on with these negotiations. Maybe it has been bought up. Maybe they can’t do it for whatever reason, but it seems like the common sense answer right there.” 


About Jeff Nixon

Jeff was a first team consensus All-American from the University of Richmond in 1978. He is 7th in NCAA history with 23 career interceptions. Played for the Buffalo Bills 1979-1984. Led the team with 6 interceptions in Rookie Year. Holds Bills record for 4 takeaways in a single game - 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tied Bills record with four consecutive games with an interception. After 5 knee surgeries Jeff retired from pro football in 1985. He worked for 13 years (1988-2000) as the Youth Bureau Director for Buffalo and Erie County. He has worked for the past 11 years as the Youth Employment Director for Buffalo. Plays guitar and was voted best R&B guitar player by Buffalo Nightlife Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Posted on April 20, 2011, in NFL Alumni News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.


    Baseball’s league and players quietly settling labour issues
    Sam McAdam

    Last Updated: Apr 21, 2011

    While the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association are attempting sue each other into submission and have placed the 2011 National Football League season in jeopardy with their labour wrangling, Major League Baseball and its Players’ Association did something constructive recently.

    The sides got together and hammered out an increase in pensions for retired players, improving the lot of the men who played the game before salaries skyrocketed.

    Details were incomplete, but indications were that the changes would impact players who participated before 1980 with less than four years of major league service.

    Currently, players who have been in the major leagues for 10 or more years are eligible for annual pensions of US$195,000 (Dh716,000), the maximum allowed under US law, starting at age 62.

    Players from earlier eras, however, have not been so fortunate and many are in need of assistance in their old age.

    To address some of these issues, the Baseball Assistance Team was created to help retired players with medical care and other problems.

    But the improvements in pensions will be a big boost for such players who had the misfortune of playing when the average annual salary was $143,000 (in 1980) compared to the $3 million average salary players earned last season.

    The move is a nice acknowledgement by current players – and their representatives – that the game was built by those who came before them and that those contributions should not be forgotten.

  2. did he think that way when he was a rookie?

    • How did any of us think as rookies? If you come to the realization of what is the right thing to do is it ever too late?

  3. Thanks for your support Toni.
    Would you consider Executive Director of NFLPA or at least NFLPA Senior Director of Retired Player Services since we former players are in need of one.

    • Jim,,,
      Advocacy on behalf of NFL Retired Players is the calling for every man who has worn the Uniform of an NFL team…Treating your Players, those who came before you, with dignity and honoring them by taking care of the Physical problems that occured while in Uniform and at the same time making sure they have a livable wage for a Pension should be the basic requirement for our “Association” and the League. To do otherwise is negligent.

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