How Much Are NFL Undrafted Free Agent Contracts?

NFL undrafted free agents often boast the best stories the league has to offer, but their contracts work a bit differently than other rookie deals.

The minutes after the final pick of any NFL Draft are an absolute frenzy. Prospects not selected in the draft — known as undrafted free agents — are free to sign with any team in the league.

In some ways, UDFAs have more freedom than players drafted in the later rounds, as they can negotiate with multiple teams and find the right roster fit. How do contracts work for NFL rookie undrafted free agents?

How Much Do Undrafted Rookie Free Agents Make?

Every NFL undrafted free agent is required to sign a three-year contract with league-minimum salaries in each season.

Over the next three years, those salaries will be $795,000, $960,000, and $1.075 million. Rookies drafted after the third round will earn the same figures on their new contracts.

The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement limits the amount of total signing bonuses a club can give to its entire UDFA class. In 2023, that figure was $172,337, per ESPN.

Instead, teams can guarantee a significant portion of a player’s salary to convince him to sign. This year, former Colorado WR Xavier Weaver’s $255,000 guarantee from the Arizona Cardinals is believed to lead all undrafted free agents.

Last offseason, the Minnesota Vikings gave pass rusher Andre Carter II a $300,000 base salary guarantee, the highest figure for any UDFA in 2023. Former Nevada quarterback Carson Strong reportedly received the same amount from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022.

After their three-year contract is complete, UDFAs will not have accrued enough NFL service time to become unrestricted free agents. Instead, they enter the league’s restricted free agent process, where they can be entered at one of four levels.

While drafted players can’t be extended until their third NFL season is complete, undrafted players can get new deals with their incumbent clubs after just two years. Accessing that second contract one year earlier is a benefit of going undrafted.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles