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Originally published Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 12:00 AM


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell criticizes rookie pay

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said it's "ridiculous" to reward untested rookies with lucrative contracts, and wants the issue addressed...

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said it's "ridiculous" to reward untested rookies with lucrative contracts, and wants the issue addressed in contract talks.

"The money should go to people who perform," he said Friday.

Goodell referred to tackle Jake Long's five-year, $57.75 million contract — with $30 million guaranteed. Long was the first overall draft pick by Miami in April.

"He doesn't have to play a down in the NFL and he already has his money," Goodell said during a sports symposium at the Chautauqua Institution. "Now, with the economics where they are, the consequences if you don't evaluate that player, you can lose a significant amount of money.

"And that money is not going to players that are performing. It's going to a player that never makes it in the NFL. And I think that's ridiculous."

Goodell said he favors lowering salaries offered to rookies, but allowing a provision for those players to renegotiate their deals after proving themselves on the field.


• Jaguars DE Paul Spicer signed a two-year, $8 million extension.

• Bills RB Marshawn Lynch had his driver's license revoked in traffic court after saying he didn't know he hit someone while driving on a Buffalo street last month. Judge Thomas Gagola found Lynch's behavior on May 31 "constituted a reckless disregard of human life or property." He also imposed the maximum $100 fine and $50 surcharge after Lynch pleaded guilty to failure to exercise due care toward a pedestrian.

• A man charged with kidnapping, beating and robbing Raiders WR Javon Walker in Las Vegas this month was held on bail totaling $86,000. Public defender Shane Emerick said Arfat Fadel intended to plead not guilty to charges that he and an unidentified man followed Walker from club to club before enticing him into their vehicle and robbing him.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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UPDATE - 07:23 AM
NFL, union resume labor talks at mediator's office

League, players still almost $800 million apart on revenue haring

Some ease seen in money issue

Union, league negotiators to resume talks Monday | NFL

No new deal in NFL labor talks; deadline extended