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NFL Draft 2011: What Will The Chiefs Pay The 21st Pick?

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If the Kansas City Chiefs remain at the 21st pick we may have an idea of what they can expect to pay that player. Contracts in the draft usually start with the player picked at that spot the year before and moves up from there.

Last year, the 21st overall pick -- Cincinnati Bengals TE Jermaine Greshman -- signed a five-year deal worth $15.86 million. $9.6 million of that was guaranteed.

That would be the starting point for the negotiations with the 21st pick, whoever that is (and apparently no one has any idea who that will be).

That said, we're still not sure if the Chiefs will be negotiating with their draft pick in the fashion we're used to seeing. I suppose it's still a possibility that a rookie wage scale is implemented though there are a lot of ifs involved with that.

A rookie wage scale could put a limit on how many years the Chiefs could sign their first round pick -- perhaps from five years to four years -- but the money won't change in the way it would in the top half of the draft.

My guess is that a rookie wage scale would be put in place to tone down the ridiculous contracts at the top of the draft. A five-year, $15 million contract for the 21st pick doesn't seem so outrageous. (In fact, not many of the contracts seem outrageous as long as the pick turns out to be a good player.)

This is yet another example of the lack of a collective bargaining agreement affecting the way the league operates.