Projecting NFL Contracts for Gator Draftees

With Major Wright becoming the first guy from the class of 2010 to sign his NFL contract many are wondering what kind of deals the other eight drafted Gators can expect.

These estimates are based in part on the contracts for 2009 as reported on Mac's Football Blog, which I believe pretty accurately reports on NFL contracts. I am assuming the typical 3-5 % boost from 2009 deals for players chosen in the same spot.

The one exception to the rule of slotting is the quarterback position where the deals are far more complicated and the range of compensation based on playing time and other factors is pretty broad.

The huge guaranteed dollars at the top of the draft is what NFL owners want to get rid of in the next round of negotiations. The NFLPA is not opposed to that as long as the total dollars going to players isn't reduced. Here are the eight draftees and approximately what they are likely to end up signing for:

Player (draft spot)


Total $$$

Guaranteed $$$

Joe Haden (7)


$ 40 M

 $ 25 M

Maurkice Pouncey (18)


$ 16 M

 $ 10 M

Tim Tebow (25)


$ 14 M

 $ 8 M

Jer. Cunningham (53)


$ 3.6 M

 $ 1.8 M

Carlos Dunlap (54)


$ 3.5 M

 $ 1.75 M

Brandon Spikes (62)


$ 3.2 M  

 $ 1.3 M

Major Wright (75)


$ 2.5 M

 $ .9 M

A. Hernandez (113)


$ 2.3 M

 $ .5 M

Riley Cooper (159)


$ 2.0 M

 $ .2 M


As you can see the total dollars really don't change much after the high picks and after that it's just larger signing bonuses plus salaries close to the league minimum for 2010 with raises each year. It appears guaranteed amounts drop by about $ 50 K for each slot in the second round and decrease at a significantly slower rate after that.

I would suspect the next CBA will call for a larger minimum salary and a shorter time to wait for free agency in exchange for the rookie scale that will dramatically reduce guaranteed money to first round picks.

Overall the nine Gators that were drafted will get around $50 million in guaranteed money with half of that going to Joe Haden. I think it's safe to assume that Michael Pouncey will be driving the finest set of wheels on campus this fall --- unless Jordan Haden is.

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