ITP Glossary: Rookie Contract

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From honey hole to 3 technique, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.

Rookie Contract

Starting in 2012, all rookie contracts were standardized by the NFL, and slotted. The #1 overall pick is paid a fixed amount, with each subsequent player selected paid a little less than the previous pick. In 2015, the first player selected was given a four year contract worth $25,351,277, while the 253rd player selected was given a four year contract worth a total of $2,332,774

Rookie contracts are either three or four years in length, depending on what round the player is selected in and what is negotiated by the team and player. All players drafted receive a four-year deal, while undrafted rookies get three years. Players selected in the first round have a fifth-year club option added on automatically to the original contract. The fifth-year option was designed off of the franchise tag in that it provides the player an average of the salaries at his position.

A rookie is defined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement as “a person who has never before signed a Player Contract with an NFL club.”

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Dan Hatman wrote this entry. Follow Dan on Twitter @Dan_Hatman

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