ATL: First-round trades may abound

One item in the collective bargaining agreement fans (and front offices) can agree on: the NFL’s “slotting” system for rookie contracts.

This offseason is alive with rumors of potential movement high in the draft, and it’s no coincidence. Trades in the first round no longer come with the outrageous financial risks of yesterday.

Case in point: In 2010, under the bloated rookie deals of the old CBA, the St. Louis Rams signed top overall pick Sam Bradford to a six-year, $78 million deal with $50 million guaranteed.

Fast-forward to 2011, under the new rookie wage scale, and Cam Newton (worth every bit of what Bradford’s earning) netted a four-year, $22 million contract from the Carolina Panthers as the top overall pick.

More accommodating salaries for top rookies has led to an uptick trade talks league-wide.

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