So what is the true cost of the NFL draft picks? Is it just over $6M as some are reporting?
Let’s look at each pick, the signing bonus, the year 1 prorated amount of the signing bonus and the 2018 cap hit of each selection -
I’ve included the 2018 portion of the signing bonus as that will be the cap charge if the player does not make the roster (assuming they’re cut after June 1st which is highly likely). The remainder of the signing bonus will come off the 2019 cap.
Signing bonus $6,874,608
Year 1 signing bonus - $1,718,652
2018 Cap hit - $2,198,652
Singing bonus $653,164
Year 1 signing bonus $163,291
2018 Cap hit - $643,291
Signing bonus $319,036
Year 1 signing bonus $79,759
2018 cap hit - $559,759
Signing bonus $300,056
Year 1 signing bonus $75,014
2018 cap hit - $555,014
Signing bonus $283,056
Year 1 signing bonus $70,764
2018 cap hit - $550,764
Signing bonus $246,092
Year 1 signing bonus $61,523
2018 cap hit -$541,523
Signing bonus $94,400
Year 1 signing bonus $23,600
2018 cap hit - $503,600
Signing bonus $71,268
Year 1 signing bonus $17,817
2018 cap hit - $497,817
It’s important to remember that while only the top 51 contracts count towards the cap in the offseason, once the season starts it’s all 53 contracts. This is why I’ve taken the bottom 6 off below but added 8 draft picks.
Bottom 6 contracts of 51 - $3,705,000
So that $3,705,000 will come OFF the cap
$6,050,420 would be added to the cap
Net difference of $2,345,420 so that’s the true cost of the draft regarding the cap
Obviously it won’t work exactly like that as, for example, Chris Carson would be one of those 6 that are taken off. In reality, the true cost will likely be lower than the $2,345,420 quoted but it’s impossible to predict who will and won’t make the roster. That also assumes all 8 drafted players make the roster, which is pretty unlikely.
The numbers above are exact however not how it will actually work when it’s all said and done, as explained above. It will almost certainly not be just the lowest 6 contracts coming off to make way for the rookies, it could well be more expensive vets which in turn would make the true cost of the draft even lower.
But at least the above gives you an outline to work from.