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More Undrafted Rookies In NFL After Lockout? A Possible Reason Why

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It was noted here a couple of days ago that more undrafted rookies landed on NFL rosters this year than in 2010. This was considered an impossibility a couple of months ago because of the NFL lockout that wiped out minicamps and OTAs. Most felt that these undrafted rookies would suffer and have a hard time making squads.

It turned out not be so. Why? ESPN's Mike Sando seemed to suggest the almighty dollar is the culprit.

He suggests that the reason more undrafted players are making teams is money.

Undrafted players cost less than the veteran guys. This year, there are 26 less players over 30 on NFL rosters than 2010, but the number of 35+ year olds is even.

The average age of NFL rosters declined slightly (26.92 years old in 2010, 26.83 right now).

The collective bargaining agreement also stipulates that undrafted rookies are required to sign three-year contracts at the dirt floor cheap price they come. These players are no risk at all to the team and if even one of these players becomes a significant contributor, the team wins big in the money game.

This certainly has some merit. The true test will be in a few years when the revenue amount goes up with a new TV deal. Then, the salary cap will skyrocket, leaving more money available. If the veteran number go back up, then we can know that the money was a factor, moreso than the expected opposite reaction.

What do you think is the reason?