The NFL did a great thing during the last collective bargaining agreement. They restructured the rookie wage scale and the amount of money available to each teams draft pool.
The top picks in the 1st round had become something of a laughingstock within NFL front office circles, as GMs and Presidents of teams knew that having a pick that high was a disaster and would help to cripple any team that “struck gold” with those picks.
Well look at the poster team for the WORST of the worst times with very early draft picks: Your Detroit Lions!
in 2007 the Lions had the #2 pick – Calvin Johnson
in 2009 the Lions had the #1 Pick – Matt Stafford
in 2010 the Lions had the #2 pick – Ndamukong Suh
And fortunetly all 3 were can’t miss prospects and thus far are not Busts by any stretch. Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the Game, and thanks to some Arizona STUPIDITY with Larry Fitzgerald’s contract, we had to offer Calvin ridiculous amounts of money.
Combined, those 3 draft picks are 1/2 of our Salary Cap amount, and it seems like it will get worse in the future.
The league had gotten to the point that the rookie wage scale was utterly ridiculous for those early 1st round picks, and they knew that something had to be done. It just upsets me to no end that they let it happen in the first place, and of course, for the team that is SO cursed it is just fitting that the Lions had 3 top 2 picks in the final 4 years of the terrible rookie wage scale.
The Lions can’t even lose right!
3 players taking up half the salary is not going to allow this organization to field a competitive team, sure they might sqeak into the playoffs once in a while with Stafford and Calvin Johnson, but there is just not enough flexibility to put a proper team together that can do well enough in all phases to do well in the playoffs.
It a sad thing, but they honeslty cannot afford SUH, you cannot afford a DT making 18 million!
The Lions, once they realize (might take a new front office) that at BEST case they can only have 2 huge salaries with Stafford and Johnson, will need to part ways with Suh, and it might happen at the end of his deal coming up here.
In the mean time, the Lions are crippled by the Salary Cap not going up and Mayhews / Scwartz terrible drafting thus far.
Hate to say it, but this team is doomed until they hit on mid-late round picks and 4 drafts so far have proven they CANNOT.
At least I wont have to endure another officiating debacle they called the Lions Saints playoff game.