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The average NFL career lasts about three seasons, according to the NFL Players Association. For most players, three seasons isn’t enough to build a lifetime fortune, but it can provide a nice boost to their bank accounts.
The NFL’s minimum salary for first-year undrafted players in the 2020 season will be $510,000 under the league’s current collective bargaining agreement. If NFL players vote to approve a new pending labor deal, that number would rise to $610,000.
At present, the highest-paid NFL player based on average annual salary is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. He earns an average of $35 million per season under his current contract.
For drafted players, salaries are determined by the NFL’s rookie compensation scale. For the 2020 season, rookie contracts will range in size from an estimated $36.6 million over four years for the first overall pick in the draft to an estimated $2.6 million over the same stretch for the final pick, according to Spotrac.
Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is the top-earning player in NFL history. The two-time Super Bowl champion, who retired after the 2019 season, earned more than $252 million in salary during his career.