2020 NFL CBA Explained: Base Salary

Formally known as “Paragraph 5” salary due to its place in a standard NFL Player Contract, it is the compensation a player receives during the regular season. The collective bargaining agreement set league minimums for base salaries. A player’s “game check” is 1/17th (including the bye week) of his base salary in a 16-game season — and will be 1/18th in a 17-game season. When a player is suspended for a game, he forfeits 1/17th of his base salary. For example, Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson had a base salary of $11.0 million entering 2019 ($647,059 per week) but forfeited $3.9 million (weekly salary multiplied by games suspended) for his six-game PED suspension last season.

In 2020 and in the Final League Year (2030), players will be paid 100 percent of their base salary in weekly or bi-weekly amounts. This changes from 2021 to ’29, when players will be paid 50 percent of their salary over the course of a period that is double the number of weeks the player is eligible to be paid for (i.e., in a 17-week regular season, he would be paid over a 34-week period).

2020 largest base salary: Dak Prescott ($31,409,000 with Cowboys — exclusive franchise tag).

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