How much do NFL free agents make? List of pay increases on new contracts
As the NFL gets the free agency window under way, we have seen a few surprise signings and an unretirement and there are still big names on the table
The NFL’s free agency policy is a byzantine maze of clauses and qualifiers that gives rough and tumble football all the thrill of an IRS audit. The basic premise is simple enough: players who are out of contract are free to sell their services to the highest bidder. The NFL being what it is, though, it is filled with caveats and restrictions.
The first and most important, of course, is the league-mandated salary cap. Teams must try and stay within their cap limit if they don’t want to pay the luxury tax, but for the right player it may just be worth the stretch on a short deal.
On the other end of the spectrum, it is worth remembering that free agency is essentially a free market. Though not usual, it is theoretically possible for a player to get offered a lower salary than they had before. Even in this rare case, the minimum pay scale mandated by the CBA must still be adhered to, giving a certain security to the player who may be finding themselves lowballed. However, this mechanism can also have a negative effect on players outside of the top tier of free agents, who are perhaps struggling to find a home. Teams won’t take a chance on a player who may have, say, four years service, even if he is willing to negotiate, if they see the $1.01 million minimum as more than they are comfortable with.
We are only in the early stages of 2022 free agency and there are still some marquee players without homes and teams with key positions unfilled, so this will definitely be added to in coming weeks. Tyrann Mathieu, Von Miller, Terron Armstead, Jason Pierre-Paul, and CJ Uzomah are all still on the board and likely to exact top dollar for their services. Likewise, the Seahawks, the Steelers, and the Saints are all without quarterbacks, so lots of movement is to come on those fronts.
At the moment, the free agents who have signed are listed below.