As the NFL offseason and free agency period continues, players have signed record-breaking contracts, resetting the league’s pay scale at multiple positions. In comparison, the USFL instituted a standardized salary for every player in the league for the 2022 season. After Week 1’s action, all the USFL teams in the South division have a chance at earning the maximum of almost $70,000 this season. Let’s dive deeper into how the USFL gives out the players’ salaries.
USFL’s player salary structure
So how much did each player make for their appearances in Week 1 of the USFL season? For every game a player is on a team’s 38-person active roster, they will receive $4,500. Additionally, the USFL pays the team that wins the game an $850 bonus. These payments create a USFL 10-week base season salary of $45,000. Furthermore, an undefeated USFL team would earn $53,500 from the regular season alone.
The players on the active roster are not the only players, though. Players on the practice squad receive a salary of $1,500 every week from the USFL, generating a $15,000 payout if they remain on the practice squad all season.
The USFL already paid the players $600 per week for the duration of their team’s four-week training camps, creating an additional $2,400 payout before the season starts. The undefeated USFL team mentioned earlier would earn $55,900 before the postseason.
USFL Championship Bonus
The top two teams from each division will meet in Canton, Ohio, to play in the USFL four-team postseason playoff on Saturday, June 25. While we don’t know if the payout for winning the semifinal will be higher than $850, the payout for winning the USFL Championship will be $10,000.
If a team from the South division runs the table and wins the USFL Championship, their season salary comes to a total of $66,750. This number assumes the winning bonus for the semifinal game stays at $850, but there’s still a chance for that total to go even higher.
There is a stark difference between the USFL of the 1980s. Today’s USFL is trying to establish some lasting power.
While limiting the salary a player can earn to a number so low might hurt the amount of talent, it will help the USFL from overextending themselves financially the first few seasons. It would not be surprising to see the franchises receive some salary cap in the future once the revenue and expenditures of the USFL become more consistent.