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How much money do undrafted free agents make in the NFL?

We break down the details of rookie contracts for undrafted free agents, who will sign three-year contracts after the 2023 NFL Draft ends.

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) takes the field for the game against the Baltimore Ravens on January 6, 2019, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft is winding down. While 259 players have found out where they will be starting their respective NFL careers, they aren’t the only rookies that will make preseason rosters. Players not drafted will instantly become undrafted free agents (UDFAs), leaving them free to sign with whatever team wants them. Due to a high chance they don’t remain on the roster when the season begins, their contracts can look vastly different from those drafted.

What will the salary be for undrafted free agents after the NFL Draft?

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement requires that contracts for undrafted free agents have a $750,000 base salary in 2023.

Signing bonuses and guaranteed money will drastically shift between players and teams. Franchises only have a certain total amount of money that they can pull from to use for signing bonuses for UDFAs. The number is determined based on the team’s total budgeted allotment for rookies, and last year ranged between $160,000 and $200,000, depending on the team. Teams can give as much or as little of their pool to a single player, but they only have the budgeted allotment.

UDFA contracts are for three years, which is a year less than the four-year deals draft picks sign. There will be some guaranteed money in the signing bonus or base salary, but it is lower than that of draft picks. Just because a player wasn’t drafted doesn’t mean they can’t have an impactful NFL career. La’el Collins, Wes Welker, Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Antonio Gates and Adam Vinatieri are considered the most famous UDFAs in NFL history.