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Pro Football / Bob Oates : Interest Grows in England

July 30, 1986|BOB OATES

In the other rounds, most players are in. The NFL has signed 18 second-rounders, 22 third-rounders and, all told, 281 of the 330 drafted.

On the average they are making a little less money than the class of 1985.

"Overall, the first 281 contracts signed average 8% less than last year's contracts," M.J. Duberstein said at the NFL Players Assn. office.

Director of research for the players, Duberstein said that, strangely, the third round has come in 5% above last year. The first round is running 6% under. From the ninth round down, it's 15% under.

If the owners are on a roll, it's only a little one.

There's a new pattern in most of this year's NFL signings. The players are taking less cash, but they're agreeing to incentive arrangements that might put them in a class with early 1980s millionaires.

For example, Byars will get a $65,000 bonus if he gains 1,000 yards for the Eagles this season. And he'll make another $20,00 for each 100 yards he adds to the first 1,000.

"The NFL can afford it," Duberstein said. "They'll gross about $900 million this year."

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