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Mailbag: Giving The Rookies A Leg Up?

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With a new coaching staff and system being installed, does it level the playing field with the bottom of the roster rookies and veterans? Does it take away any advantage a vet might have over an undrafted rookie as far as making the roster? — JARAD HARTMAN / READING, PA

Rob: I get your point, but the lack of in-person training and practice due to the pandemic probably affects rookies more than veterans, at least for now, simply because they don't have any experience at this level yet. Mike McCarthy talked last week about the volume of information that comes with new installs. The virtual program has been smooth, but nothing can fully simulate true on-field reps - especially for rookies who are just getting started. That's just not possible right now. But every team is going through it.

David: I don't know about rookies, but I think a new coaching staff levels the field among veterans that are already on the roster. All of the old preferences and biases from the previous regime are gone, so maybe that will give some players a better chance than they had before. But it's hard to imagine a rookie having an advantage over a veteran when there hasn't been an offseason program.

It seems that the biggest sticking point with Dak's contract is the number of years. Dak wants four or less. Jerry wants five or more. I understand that a running back only gets one shot at a big contract due to productivity issues around age 30. However, is there really a big difference in a second contract for quarterback at age 30 versus age 31? — DARRELL BROOKS / LAMPASAS, TX

Rob: Many reports say it's a sticking point, though it's also worth noting that no one on either side has confirmed that publicly. Generally speaking, I don't think what you're asking has as much to do with productivity as the market. Quarterback salaries have skyrocketed in recent years and they'll only continue to spike as long as the league is doing well. Some players like extra years of security. Some like the idea of reaching free agency early to re-establish their earning power.

David: I get your point. One extra year doesn't seem like a lot for a position that sees starters regularly play into their 40s. Dak's team is still going to try to find the best deal possible, though. And in their eyes that means getting him back onto the market as quickly as possible.

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