NFL Contract/Free Agency Glossary

Types of Free Agents UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT A player with four-or-more accrued seasons and an expired contract is an unrestricted free agent. Unrestricted free agents are free to negotiate with any team. RESTRICTED FREE AGENT A player with three accrued seasons and an expired contract is a restricted free agent. A restricted free agent is... Continue Reading →

NFL Rookie Contracts Explained

In the past, contract negotiations for NFL rookies spilled into training camp on a regular basis. Those days have been dead since 2011. Although there are still negotiating points, the new collective bargaining agreement installed something similar to the rookie wage scale in the NBA. Each of the up to 256 draft slots are allotted... Continue Reading →

NFL Rookie Contracts Explained: Performance Incentives

Rookies are very limited with the types of Performance Incentives allowed in their contracts. While veterans can receive bonuses for attaining certain individual and/or team statistics and/or rankings, rookies can only receive incentives for playtime percentage (figured out by dividing player’s total offensive or defensive plays by the team’s total offensive or defensive plays) (Art.... Continue Reading →

NFL Contracts Explained: Option Bonus

An option bonus is similar to a roster bonus. However, rather than receiving money for remaining on a team on a certain date, the team has the “option” to pay the bonus or terminate the player’s contract. When an option bonus is exercised, it is subject to probation like a signing bonus. If the option... Continue Reading →

NFL Contracts Explained: Workout Bonus

Some contracts also have workout bonuses, which a player earns by participating in an agreed upon percentage of the team’s offseason workout program. Most big contracts contain these bonuses as an incentive to get veteran players to attend voluntary workouts. A similar type of compensation is a reporting bonus. A player earns this bonus by... Continue Reading →

NFL Contracts Explained: Roster Bonus

A roster bonus is another form of compensation for NFL players. If a player contract contains a roster bonus in it, it is considered earned when the player remains on his team’s roster on a specified date. This type of bonus typically counts against the salary cap, in whole, during the League Year that it... Continue Reading →

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