Dallas Cowboys Assigned $4.5 Million Year-One Rookie Pool

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Cowboys added seven new players through the 2012 NFL draft, and they all want to get paid. The new CBA leaves little to no room for negotiation, and there should be no big delay in getting the rookies signed in time for training camp.

According to Brian McIntyre of Shutdown Corner, the Dallas Cowboys have been assigned a $4.525 million rookie pool with which to sign their new rookie class. The method for calculating the rookie pool is determined in the new CBA and is based on the number, round and position of a team's selection choices in the draft.

This means that there is virtually no room for negotiation between a player's agent and the teams, effectively making rookie contract holdouts a thing of the past, as there is only a fixed amount of money available even for top tier picks. The 2011 draft class was the first affected by the new rookie cap, and at the time, most rookie contracts were signed within a week of the opening of the contract negotiation period late in July, and have been signed without much ado in the years since.

All seven of the Cowboys' draft picks must be signed to four-year contracts, only first-round pick Travis Frederick will be signed to a four-year deal that will include a 5th year club option at a salary equal to the average being paid to the third-highest player at the position through the 25th highest paid player at that position. In case the Cowboys sign any of the undrafted players to full contracts, all will be three years contracts.

The rookie pool is cap within the cap, but doesn't have a dollar for dollar correlation to the team's overall cap. KD Drummond explained the ins and outs of the rookie pool and its effect on the salary cap in a post a few weeks ago. A simple way to roughly calculate the offseason cap space that is being eaten up by your rookie pool is the following formula:

Year One Rookie Pool – (405,000 x number of draft picks)

For the Cowboys, because of the rule of 51 and the way the rookie contracts are structured, this year's rookies will only count roughly $1.7 million against the offseason salary cap. And as KD points out, that's cap space that was cleared with the release of Marcus Spears earlier this offseason.

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