The reason for this is that prior to draft, the team holds all the power. The player wants to be the No. 1 pick, and to ensure that happens he needs to sign a contract. Once the player is selected, however, the power shifts. The team risks embarrassing itself if they don’t get the player under contract quickly, so its the team that feels the pressure to cave to the player’s demands.
This year, however, the tide has turned. This is likely to be the final year in which we don’t have a rookie wage scale in place. Meaning the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 will earn significantly less than Sam Bradford will be paid this year.
Because of this, the Rams hold ALL the power in these negotiations. If Bradford doesn’t sign a contract and re-enters the draft in 2011 he’ll lose millions of dollars. While the Rams would look foolish if Bradford actually took that option they’re confident that he won’t, and for good reason.
Given Bradford’s character, coupled with the financial hit he would take, there’s simply no doubt in anyone’s mind that he’ll eventually sign with the Rams. Even if it means settling for less money than the No. 1 pick would typically receive.