How Much Do NFL Players Make?

Find out how much NFL players make in salaries and bonuses, and learn about the different factors that contribute to a player’s earnings.

How Much Do NFL Players Make?


The average NFL player salary in 2020 is $2.7 million per year, which is an increase of nearly $800,000 from the previous year. The NFL has a total of 32 teams, and each team has 53 players on its roster. So, if we multiply 32 by 53, we get 1,696 – this is the total number of NFL players in 2020. This means that the average NFL player salary in 2020 is $2.7 million per year, which is an increase of nearly $800,000 from the previous year.

How Much Do NFL Players Make?

NFL players are among the highest-paid athletes in the world. The average NFL player salary in 2020 is $2.7 million, with a median salary of $860,000. However, there is a wide range of salaries for NFL players, from the minimum salary of $610,000 to the maximum salary of $25 million. Let’s take a look at how NFL player salaries are calculated.

Average Salary

The average salary for an NFL player was $2.7 million in 2017, according to data from the players’ association. The median salary, which is more representative of the earnings of the rank-and-file player, was $860,000. The median is the point at which half the players earn more and half earn less.

The minimum salary for a player with two years of experience was $775,000 in 2017. A first-year player made a minimum of $465,000.

The average salary has been rising steadily since the first collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players was reached in 1993. It has more than doubled since then. In 1993, the average salary was $1.2 million.

Rookie Salary

The minimum salary for a player in their first year is $495,000. In subsequent years, the minimum salary increases to $610,000 for a second-year player, and $745,000 for a third-year player. After three years in the league, the minimum salary jumps to $880,000 for a fourth-year player, $1.015 million for a fifth-year player, and $1.155 million for a sixth-year player. Players with seven or more years of experience have a minimum salary of $1.285 million.

Salary Cap

The NFL has a salary cap that is the total amount of money that all 32 NFL teams are allowed to spend on player salaries for a given year. For the 2020 season, the salary cap is $198.2 million. That means that each team can have no more than 53 players on its roster and can spend no more than $198.2 million on player salaries for the year.

Each team must also have a minimum salary cap, which is the minimum amount of money that each team must spend on player salaries for the year. For the 2020 season, the minimum salary cap is $180 million. That means that each team must have at least 53 players on its roster and must spend at least $180 million on player salaries for the year.

The salary cap is calculated by adding up all of the revenue that the NFL generates from television contracts, ticket sales, and other sources, and then dividing that number by 32 (the number of NFL teams). The salary cap is then increased by any money that is generated from new sources of revenue, such as new television contracts.

How Do NFL Players Get Paid?

NFL players are paid handsomely for their services. The average player salary is $2.1 million. However, the highest-paid player in the NFL is Kirk Cousins, who makes $30 million per year. NFL players get their salaries from the team’s owner or general manager. They also get bonuses for things like winning the Super Bowl or being selected to the Pro Bowl.

Signing Bonus

Players receive a signing bonus when they sign their first NFL contract. This bonus is determined by the round in which they were drafted. For example, a player drafted in the first round will receive a larger signing bonus than a player drafted in the seventh round. The signing bonus is paid out over the course of the player’s contract and is not guaranteed. If a player is released before his contract expires, he will not receive any of the remaining signing bonus money.

Base Salary

Base salary is the biggest part of any NFL player’s pay. This is the amount of money a player is paid for being on a team’s roster and is calculated using a complex formula that takes into account the player’s experience, position, and performance. For example, a first-year player at the minimum salary would earn $480,000 in base salary while a 10-year veteran at the maximum salary would earn $1.8 million.

In addition to base salary, NFL players also receive signing bonuses and performance-based bonuses. Signing bonuses are paid to players when they sign their contracts and are generally prorated over the life of the deal. Performance-based bonuses are rewards for players who meet certain statistical benchmarks and are paid out after the season. For example, a player who reaches 1,000 yards rushing or receiving would receive a $100,000 bonus. Players can also earn bonuses for being selected to the Pro Bowl or being named MVP of the league.

Roster Bonus

Roster bonuses are a lump sum paid out to a player for being on an NFL team’s active roster at a specific point in time. For example, a player may receive a $500,000 bonus if he is on the team’s roster for Week 1 of the regular season. Roster bonuses are paid out in addition to a player’s base salary and any other bonuses he may be entitled to receive.

Workout Bonus

One of the key ways NFL players get paid is through what’s called a “workout bonus.” While many Americans receive some sort of compensation for working out and staying in shape, NFL players get paid a whole lot more. In fact, some of the biggest stars in the league can make hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by showing up to their team’s offseason workout program.

Workout bonuses are negotiated into a player’s contract as a way to incentivize them to stay in shape and be ready to go once the season starts. For most players, the bonus is a set amount that they receive for attending a certain number of workouts or meeting other fitness-related benchmarks. However, some contracts include variable bonuses that increase or decrease based on the player’s weight, body fat percentage, or other factors.

While workout bonuses are generally considered to be “not that big of a deal,” they can actually be extremely important for lower-paid players who are trying to make ends meet during the offseason. For example, a player making the minimum salary who attends all of his team’s offseason workouts would earn an extra $50,000 just for working out. That’s not too shabby for something that most people do for free!


Overall, NFL players are paid quite well. The median salary for all players is around $860,000, although the top players can make much more than that. For example, the highest-paid player in the NFL right now is Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who makes an annual salary of $35 million.

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