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Ryan Tannehill Could Fall Out Of Top 10 Due To NFL's Rookie Contract Structure

Former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill has received a lot of buzz and potentially could be a top-10 pick in next weeks NFL Draft. However, due to the new collective bargaining agreement the NFL and NFLPA agreed to prior to the 2011 season might have teams thinking hard about taking Tannehill inside the top 10.

It all comes down to money and when a player is taken in the top 10 the fifth year of their rookie contract salary skyrockets:

Under the new CBA, a team may sign its first-round pick to a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year. The salary for the fifth year is based on a formula that hinges on whether the player is picked in the top 10 or the next 22.

For the top 10, the salary is determined by calculating the average of the 10 highest-paid players at the pick's position in the prior season. For the next 22, the number is determined by calculating the average salary of the third-highest paid player at the position through the 25th highest paid player at the position in the prior season.

So, if a team takes Tannehill in the top 10 it seems that a five-year contract is likely and it also means that the team that drafts him would be paying him a lot of money regardless of how well he has performed on the field. The difference between the top 10 average contracts at the quarterback position is going to be a much larger salary cap hit compared to the average salary between the No. 3 and No. 25 quarterback position.

With Tannehill being a converted wide receiver and just over one year of starting experience, this latest news could be what drops him out of the top 10.

For all news and information regarding the Texas A&M Aggies, please visit I am the 12th Man. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, head on over to Mocking the Draft.

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