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Bradford Negotiations May Offer A Window Into McCoy-Bucs Talks

Posted Jul 16, 2010 by Roy Cummings

Updated Jul 16, 2010 at 01:13 PM

By ROY CUMMINGS
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TAMPA – It may not seem like it on the surface but today is a pretty big day in the NFL, one that could prove to have a rather large impact on the Bucs 2010 season.

Today is the day the agents for first-overall draft pick Sam Bradford begin negotiations aimed at cutting a deal for the former Oklahoma quarterback’s new team, the St. Louis Rams.

How those negotiations go could determine how talks between the Bucs and their first-round pick, Gerald McCoy, proceed. And not just because Bradford and McCoy have the same agency (Tom Condon’s CAA Football) representing them.

With the NFL digging in its heals on the collective bargaining talks, there’s a chance the Rams will try to set the tone for other teams by taking a hard line stance against Bradford.

At a time when a five-year contract and $50 million in guaranteed payouts would be the norm for Bradford, there is talk the Rams may try to get Bradford to accept a three-year deal that includes less than $30 million in guarantees.

That would represent a significant step backwards for the players, who are already facing the strong likelihood that a far-less-lucrative rookie wage scale will be part of the new collective bargaining agreement.

The players, of course, are hoping to maintain the status quo at least through the current negotiating season. That desire could result in several rookie holdouts, possibly including McCoy, who was drafted third overall.

In fact, more than one agent has already predicted there will be more holdouts than usual this year. It will be worthwhile to follow the Bradford talks then, because talks aimed at signing McCoy will probably follow the very same path.