NFLPA Monitoring Two Trades

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports the NFLPA is monitoring a pair of trades this week between the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams for potential violations of the "85-Percent" rule.

Mortensen explains that, in an uncapped year, any drafted player who is cut by the team who drafted him is guaranteed 85% of his 2010 minimum salary of $320,000, which equates to $272,000.

The NFLPA is concerned that this rule is potentially being circumvented when, in separate trades, the Rams acquired sixth-round fullback/tight end Dennis Morris from the Redskins for a conditional draft choice and traded fifth-round defensive end Hall Davis to the Redskins for a conditional draft choice.

Davis was waived on Tuesday after just one practice with his new team.

Mortensen adds that the NFLPA is also keeping an eye o the Philadelphia Eagles-Arizona Cardinals trade, where the two teams swapped Charles Scott and Jorrick Calvin, who were chosen with back-to-back selections of the sixth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

After a quick perusal of the CBA, the closest to an "85-Percent" rule I could find was in Article XVII, Section 4(m):

"In League Years for which no Salary Cap is in effect, 85% of any amount contracted by a Team to be paid from the Team’s Rookie Allocation to a Rookie, but not actually paid by the Team to that player, either as a rookie, or as a re-signed first year player or practice squad player, which amount was not paid because that player was released, will be distributed to all rookies on such Team promptly after the end of the season on a pro rata basis based upon the number of downs played."

Based on my interpretation of this section of the CBA, it would appear as though the teams are trading these drafted rookies, instead of releasing them, to avoid distribution of the 85% of the amount allotted to that player from the "rookie pool" amongst their remaining rookie class, drafted or otherwise, after the season is over.

Stay tuned for more details on this one.

UPDATE: Received confirmation from a league source that my interpretation of the CBA was the correct one.

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