2020 NFL CBA Explained: Rookie Contract Basics

Length: Contracts for drafted rookies are set at four years. Undrafted rookies receive three-year contracts.

Rookie salary: A player’s rookie salary is composed of the following: signing bonus, base salary, offseason workout per diem (beginning in the second season), base-salary guarantees, permitted performance incentives, roster bonuses and reporting bonuses.

Renegotiations: Rookie contracts for drafted players can’t be renegotiated or altered in any way until after the last regular-season game of the third contracted year. Undrafted rookies must wait until after their second season to amend a contract. Any rookie contract that is renegotiated or extended in any way is no longer considered a rookie contract and is not restricted by the rules governing such contracts.

25 percent increase rule: Unless a player’s base salary is set at the minimum every year, no team can sign a player to a contract that would give him a raise of more than 25 percent annually. So, the second year of the contract can’t provide a salary more than 25 percent of the first year, and after that, each subsequent year can’t offer an increase of more than 25 percent of his previous year’s salary.

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