Football contracts are very different than those of other sports, specfically because they are not guaranteed, and many personnel decisions are based on that fact. Careers are short, and injuries play such a huge factor. It is also becoming increasingly more difficult keeping teams intact. I do realize that some of that is necessary to create competitive balance, but there has to be a happy medium that can accomplish both.
My provision in the next CBA would include the following:
1. A player contract cannot be worth more than 50% and the annual pay no more than 10% of the salary cap. All contracts must be injury protected a minimum of 50%, and minimum 25% guaranteed overall. Exceptions will include legal issues or acts deemed detrimental to the team type clauses. There will be cap relief clauses for injured players as well.
So this year, the max salary contract that could be offered is 6 years, $65M with a minimum of $16.25M guaranteed. The player would be able to get this front loaded with a max of $13M/year. This is similar to the NBA with their max contracts.
2. 10% of the cap will go towards performance bonuses, so players that greatly outperform their salary, can get paid a more fair market salary. So a player like Bryron Maxwell could be paid something like $1.5M rather than $650K.
3. Raise the minimum salary to .75% of salary cap. This year, that amount would be $975K. So a player like Maxwell, including provision #2, would make closer to $2M, which again would be more fair and deserving.
OK, I haven't worked out all of the numbers, but I think this helps both the teams and 99% of the players. A great majority of players would get paid a lot more early, plus have the injury protected guarantees and overall guarantees. The teams benefit because you create less of a true market, and limits the escalation of contracts for individual players, which in the long run harms them. I know teams make bad decisions and have to live with them, but teams are not individual businesses, and the idea is to put out the best product as a whole.The teams no longer have to invest majority of the cap on a QB and a handful of players, and would ultimately make the league more competitive.