In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, players and agents jockey for position to be one of the top picks in the draft and cash in with a lucrative contract. This is immensely important because if a player slips in the draft, they stand to lose millions.
Last year’s top pick, Jared Goff, signed a contract worth $US27.9 million, while the 12th pick received less than half of that at 12.8 million. In addition, only players in the first round received contracts that were at least 70% guaranteed.
Things really drop in the second round, where the average contract was worth about $US5.1 million over four years ($US1.3 million per year), according to Spotrac.com, but with only half of that guaranteed. The value of third-round contracts drops to $US3.3 million, but takes an even bigger hit in guaranteed value, with the average contract worth just $US756,000 in guaranteed money.
Once a player falls past the third round, most draft picks will sign a 4-year deal in the $US2.4-2.9 million range. The only major difference late in the draft is the signing bonus, ranging from $US400,000-600,000 in the fourth round to slightly more than $US60,000 in the seventh round.
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