Making A Fortune in the NFL – Drafted or Undrafted

Athletes, drafted or undrafted, compete for more than just championships, they also compete for larger paychecks.

In 2022, the #1 overall NFL draft pick Trayvon Walker signed a $37.3 million contract with a $24.3 million signing bonus. #2 overall pick Aiden Hutchinson signed a $35.7 million contract with a $23.1 million signing bonus. This difference in money increases the further out the first round players get drafted. Second round draft picks sign contracts worth $6-$12 million, while Mr. Irrelevant signs a contract around $3.9 million.

Drafted Later? No Problem.

It doesn’t take being the GOAT to overcome that money difference however. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, drafted in the 4th round as the 135th overall pick, has earned an estimated $50 million from endorsement deals. Prescott has brand deals with, Adidas, AT&T, Beats by Dre, and many more. How was Prescott, a 4th round pick able to receive these brand deals? Great on field play, that earned him a $160 million contract in 2021, minimal off the field issues to hurt is marketability, and being a personality that people enjoy being around. Prescott even created a charity foundation, the Faith, Fight, Finish Foundation to give back to the children and families in his community.

Undrafted to Multimillionaire.

Undrafted free agents in 2023 are expected to sign contracts worth around $750,000. While this is a massive difference in money, even compared to Mr. Irrelevant, generational wealth is still a possibility. 2x NFL MVP, and 1x Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner, an undrafted NFL player, has gone on to have a net worth of around $30 million. Warner has had endorsement deals with Nike, Visa, Campbell’s, and signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Amway to represent their Nutrilite brand.

Wes Welker, an undrafted wide receiver in 2004, has also gone on to have a successful career both on and off the field. After not being drafted due to concerns about his size, he played a major part in 4 Super Bowls, and is currently a wide receiver coach for the Miami Dolphins. Welker has also had endorsement deals with Dunkin’ Donuts, Depends, and OId Spice, amassing a net worth of around $25 million.

Never Give Up.

If you are an athlete currently in the NFL, are has dreams of playing in the league, do not let your draft position discourage you. Career success and generational wealth is possible for all players, with hard work, determination, and smart financial decisions.

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