How much money does an NFL player make per year?

How much money does an NFL player make per year?
Group of children huddling with coach. Summer sunset at the stadium in the background. Youth soccer football team group photo. Happy boys soccer players kicking tournament. School boys in blue jerseys

National Football League player salaries range from the $375,000 minimum wage established by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). for its acronym in English) and team owners, to about five times that amount. How much a player earns depends on the team he plays for, his position on that team, his skill and experience, and his celebrity status.

The league is made up of 32 teams from across the United States and is divided into two sections: the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). All teams can enter up to 53 soccer players. Every player belongs to the NFLPA, which negotiates player salaries and contracts.

Higher wages

The top salaries are going up all the time in the NFL, but as of 2011, the highest-paid soccer players earned more than $20 million. These players include Peyton Manning at $23 million (Richest People for 2011, Spot Trac has it at $18 million for 2012), Eli Manning at $20.5 million and Donovan McNabb at $25 million. What these three men and other high-earning players have in common is that they are quarterbacks. It is the best paid position in the field. The top earners, according to Richest People for 2011, were Peyton Manning, Sam Bradford and Tom Brady, respectively.

Average salaries

The average NFL player’s salary works out much lower when top earners are not considered, but these soccer players also make hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Bloomberg Businessweek says the average salary for an NFL player in 2011 was $1.9 million. The average salary was $770,000. When factored into a typical signed bond, these numbers can go well into the $2-3 million range.

Each team used to have an overall salary limit that could not be exceeded, which was established by the collective bargaining agreement. In 2008, it was US$116 million. However, in recent years, this has been removed.

Minimum wages

The base salary of $375,000 for a rookie goes up with experience, so soccer players in their third season make a minimum of $600,000 and in their tenth season make more than $900,000. Under the collective bargaining agreement, there are increases each year through 2014, so for the 2012 season a rookie earns $390,000, for 2013 a new player earns $405,000, and for 2014, $420,000.


None of the above figures represent signing bonuses (unless explicitly stated) and other incentives that any NFL player could be subject to. These can add up to a million dollars or more. Bonuses and buyout packages are also common. Celebrity testimonials and publicity is extra work for the player, but sometimes you can get more than what the soccer players are making in the NFL itself.A

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