Carolina Panthers Have Smallest Rookie Cap Pool in NFL

The Carolina Panthers will have the smallest rookie compensation pool in the NFL this year to sign their five draft picks.

Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, NFL teams are restricted in what they are able to pay rookies based on where they were selected. The Carolina Panthers, drafting the fewest players in the NFL with only five selections, has the smallest rookie compensation pool in the entire league at $3,875,658, according to Spotrac.

One of the points of emphasis during the the last CBA negotiation was about rookie contracts as salaries grew exponentially for players selected in the NFL Draft. There was no regulation of this however that changed in 2011 and is detailed in the current CBA below.

(e) Total Rookie Allocation. “Total Rookie Allocation” means, for each Club, its proportional share of the Total Rookie Compensation Pool, calculated based upon the number, round and position of the Club’s selection choices in the Draft, plus the Undrafted Rookie Reservation (as defined in Subsection (i) below). The sum of the Total Rookie Allocations for all Clubs shall equal the Total Rookie Compensation Pool.

The Panthers had only six draft picks entering this year's Draft but only selected five players after making a trade in the second, trading one of those picks away in the move. 

Based on the current system the NFL has in place, there isn't much negotiation available for players and Spotrac predicted what the contracts will look like for the five players selected by the Panthers.

Name Total Contract Signing Bonus 2016 Cap Hit
Vernon Butler $8,600,601 $4,306,556 $1,526,639
James Bradberry $3,960,836 $1,080,608 $720,152
Daryl Worley $3,428,548 $783,684 $645,921
Zack Sanchez $2,612,461 $272,461 $518,115
Beau Sandland $2,399,326 $59,326 $464,831

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