MIAMI ( – Miami Dolphins fans may be one step closer to having the team on the field for the entire preseason.

According to’s Jim Trotter, the standoff over the rookie pay scale may be getting close to being solved. Trotter said both sides said there was positive movement on rookie wages Thursday, but an agreement in principle is not expected Thursday night.

The rookie pay scale has been one of the biggest impediments to getting a collective bargaining agreement finalized. Owners didn’t want to continue paying unproven rookies upwards of $50 million in guaranteed money.

On the flip side, rookies were not exactly happy to give up that kind of guaranteed pay. But veterans were growing tired of unproven rookies getting that kind of pay day while the veterans get none.

But the sticking point came over the fifth year of a rookie contract. Players said that in order to give up the big paydays, they wanted four year contracts for rookies, even first-rounders. Owners wanted a fifth year and a lower cost on the fifth year.

The players suggested a fifth year have a high-level of compensation that would be formulated by the top 10 average salaries at the position for the first 16 picks in the draft. The second 16 picks would have a fifth-year option for the top 15-20 average salaries at the position.

It’s unknown which side gave ground during Thursday’s negotiations, but the fact that both sides have found common ground and are moving towards the center is the best news Dolphins fans could receive on a dreary Thursday afternoon.


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