Colin Kaepernick is one of the NFL's biggest stars at the moment, but he won't be able to be paid like one until after his rookie contract runs out following the 2013 season, as ESPN's Adam Schefter points out. The new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL Players Association and the NFL that was negotiated with much hullabaloo before the 2011 season stipulates that rookies cannot renegotiate their contracts until three years into their original deals, leaving players like Kaepernick and Russell Wilson grossly underpaid.
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Kaepernick signed a four-year deal worth $5.12 million after being selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 draft. That deal has him being paid significantly less than the likes of Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kolb, two quarterbacks who most definitely won't be playing in the Super Bowl next Sunday, nor any time soon considering the state of their respective franchises. Wilson will be paid even less, currently locked into a four-year $2.99 million deal that looks ludicrously cheap considering he was added to the 2013 Pro Bowl this week.
Schefter points out that the provision in the CBA helps safeguard franchises from spending outlandishly for a potential NFL bust (See: Russell, Jamarcus). Unfortunately, it also strips overachieving young players of the opportunity to quickly realizing their value. While Kaepernick and Wilson should be paid handsomely in due time, a player like Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris, who plays a position that endure significantly more wear and tear, may not be able to take financial advantage of his peak playing days.
Unfortunately, it appears making it to the Super Bowl may not be as rewarding as it used to be.