With the first round of the 2014 NFL draft in the books, it’s time to highlight just how much money these newly minted athletes are set to make.
Also, we can’t help but point out the difference in earnings between players drafted this year, compared to four years ago under the terms of the previous CBA. During the 2011 CBA negotiations, the rookie wage scale was reined in after contracts for top picks had completely spiraled out of control — NFL owners wanted to protect themselves from shelling out tens of millions in guaranteed money to an unproven commodity out of college.
The consistency of the present wage scale also enables us to better project how much each player will earn over the course of his rookie contract. It still remains an inexact science because each position carries a different value, regardless of draft slot. Nevertheless, using Forbes’ formula to predict the guaranteed salary for each draft position, we’ve estimated the earnings for each player in the top 10.
Just for fun, we included guaranteed salary figures for each player selected in that slot during 2010 draft — before the new CBA structure went into place — to get an idea of what each player might have made had they been born four years earlier.
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