From $825 Per Week To $18,000 Per Week

A reader recently asked, “Do any or all the players in training camp receive a pay check?” Keeping signing bonus out of this example because it can complicate the issue, players are paid their salary during the regular season on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. For example, a player who is a rookie this year cannot make less than $310,000. In the player’s contract this is referred to as his “Paragraph 5” salary. This is paid over the course of the regular season which is 17 weeks. Therefore, a rookie player’s gross salary is $18,235.29 before taxes each week he is on the 53-man active roster, whether he plays in the game to not; whether he is injured or not. A veteran player who has been in the NFL for at least 10 seasons cannot make less than $845,000 in Paragraph 5 salary. His weekly breakdown is a mere $49,705.88 per week. I hope you noticed the humor in “mere” in the previous sentence.

None of the monies explained previously, are paid until the regular season, so the player HAS to make the team before being paid any of the previously mentioned salaries. However, there is compensation administered to the players while they are in training camp so they can at least have some spending money and compensation for their time and training. The compensation paid varies depending on whether the player is a rookie or veteran. During training camp, a rookie player is allowed $825 per week while training camp is in session. That equates to about $3,300 for a month’s worth of work. Not bad for a job right out of college.

A veteran player, any player who is not a rookie, will receive a weekly stipend in the amount of $1,225 per week. That equates to $4,900 for a month’s work, which is more like “make it rain” money as opposed to anything the veteran player really needs to live on during training camp.

We appreciate the question and look forward to answering many more!

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