The 2023 NFL Draft is in its final day, and that means a couple things. The most notable is that teams will be looking for diamonds in the rough. A lot of players picked on day three will focus on special teams early in their career with the hope that they can turn into an offensive or defensive contributor, and maybe eventually a starter.
The other notable thing about Day 3 is that it brings with it the Mr. Irrelevant pick. The seventh round will feature 42 picks in this year’s draft, but the one everybody will remember for at least Saturday is the final pick, which is also called Mr. Irrelevant.
Last year’s Mr. Irrelevant became incredibly relevant. The San Francisco 49ers selected Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy with the final pick of the draft, but by season’s end he had emerged as the team’s starter. Injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo propelled him into the starting lineup and there’s a chance he could be the team’s quarterback of the future when he finishes his recover from elbow surgery.
Purdy and every other seventh-round pick last year signed a four-year contract with most if not all of their guaranteed money coming in the form of a signing bonus. Plenty of seventh-round picks will be cut by the end of this year’s preseason, and so they will have to earn their rookie salary.
What will the salary be for seventh-round picks in the NFL Draft?
The NFL has a rookie wage scale for all drafted players, courtesy of the CBA. The CBA provides for a minimum rookie salary of $750,000 in 2023. Players can make more than that, bust most rookie contracts will include a 2023 salary of $750,000.
Contract reference site Over The Cap provides a rundown of rookie cap numbers for this year’s class. The numbers might move a little, but this gives us a good idea of how much each pick will make each year of their rookie deal.
The first pick of the seventh round will sign a contract worth approximately $3.963 million and receive a signing bonus of approximately $123,384. The second pick of the round will receive a $3.962 million contract with a $122,980 signing bonus. The numbers decrease each pick until the 42nd pick where the player will receive a $3.921 million contract with a $81,928 signing bonus.
Players drafted in the final round can earn something called a proven performance escalator (PPE). If they reach certain performance goals, their fourth-year base salary will be increased. There are three levels of PPE and they are earned by playing a certain percentage of offensive or defensive snaps for a team over their first three seasons, and also by earning a Pro Bowl nod. Over The Cap offers a complete breakdown of PPEs.