NFL Salary Structure
Here are the details of the current National Football League collective bargaining agreement, compiled by Lance Hornby of the QMI agency:
Rookie Salary Cap: Contracts can’t be for more than four years’ duration, and teams have a rookie salary pool that must be used for all picks. That recent change brought a lot of rookies to camp much earlier in the spring and summer, virtually eliminating messy hold-outs. Andrew Luck and Cam Newton signed deals in the $22 million range the past two years.
Standard Player Contract: Players are not guaranteed money for anything more than the present season but can keep signing bonuses. Throw in football’s frequent serious injuries, and it’s a small window of earning power.
Buyouts & Bonuses: The Saints’ secret bounty incentive was stopped in its tracks, but there remain legal ways to pump up salary, such as showing up for off-season training in a timely manner. Mutual attainable performance bonuses are also written in.
Minimum Salary: $390,000
Average Salary: $1.1 million
Career Earnings: Between $2 million and $3 million based on an average career of 3.5 years.
Salary Cap: $120.6 million, a figure that’s stayed about the same of late, though any unused cap money from 2011 can be rolled in and teams have permission to borrow up to $1.5 million from 2013’s cap.
Players Share of Revenues: In the last CBA, they lowered their request for 50% of revenues down to 47%, though retired players will get more money.