Talking Points: Jake Locker's contract

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Jake Locker has signed with the Tennessee Titans, agreeing to a four-year deal worth $12 million. This will lead to a somewhat-misguided discussion about how much Locker passed up by returning to Washington for his senior year.

In the new NFL, rookie contracts have returned to the realm of normalcy. No longer will you see a $78 million deal such as the one Sam Bradford signed last year. That hurts Locker, salary-wise.

But Locker would not have been the second pick in the draft if he came out after his junior year. He wouldn’t have been the third or 10th or probably even 20th pick. In fact, some think he might not have been a first-round pick.

Second, Locker needed another year of seasoning in a pro-style offense, which he never ran until his junior season. If adequate preparation means he has a longer and more successful NFL career, then he’ll make up for the lost money in his second and third contracts.

2

As frustrating as the Mariners have been this year, their fans should remember that it could be worse. With another loss Saturday, the Chicago Cubs fell to 23 games below .500 — even worse than Seattle. And that’s with a $135 million payroll, the ultimate indictment of a club’s mismanagement.