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Teams have $80,362 for UDFA signing bonuses

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The day after the 2014 NFL draft ends, the people who moved the thing forward by two weeks will be spending times with their mothers or the mothers of their children.  The people who are responsible for putting teams together will be spending the day pursuing undrafted free agents.

To lure a class of undrafted free agents, the teams will have up to $80,362 each for signing bonuses or amounts treated as signing bonuses to offer.  That’s a total amount per team, not per player.

It’s unclear why any limits are placed on the ability to give signing bonuses to undrafted players, given that a salary cap encompasses all moves made by a team.  Regardless, the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to the limitation, and the limitation this year is $80,362 per team.

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11 Responses to “Teams have $80,362 for UDFA signing bonuses”
  1. competitivecompetitioncompeter says: May 5, 2014 10:57 PM

    Moved forward? Awesome! What exactly happened 2 fridays ago, I must’ve fallen into a wormhole

  2. thestrategyexpert says: May 5, 2014 11:02 PM

    They could have at least made the number divisible by both 2 and 3. They couldn’t find 2 more dollars per team?

  3. chawk12thman says: May 5, 2014 11:12 PM

    Doesn’t the Cap apply to the top 51 players or some such thing? My understanding was that it wouldn’t apply to the undrafted contracts or many of those lessor paid on future contracts? If that was the case, putting a limit on these would seem to make sense so that deep pocket teams wouldn’t sign more than can reasonably be expected to compete for a team roster. It would also be good as it would allow other non drafted players to be given a competitive shot at other teams.

  4. sameer1138 says: May 5, 2014 11:20 PM

    Perhaps the journalistic types at PFT — you know, those guys with contacts among front offices and the NFLPA — could find out why there’s a signing bonus limit for UDFAs? I for one am curious as to why it exists.

  5. chaseutley says: May 5, 2014 11:35 PM

    I base this on nothing more than a hunch, but my guess is that UDFA signing bonuses are capped to make it financially advantageous to be drafted.

    Otherwise, teams, players, and agents could fairly easily collude on where late round picks would play through back-channel posturing.

  6. norcal031 says: May 6, 2014 12:11 AM

    Someone said it in an earlier post. Just cancel the draft and make it big free agency. 3 day free agency fest. Teams making pitches to players to sign with them. That is good TV.

  7. sandiegolion says: May 6, 2014 4:29 AM

    The cap on UDFAs is because they used to get bigger bonuses than draft picks. I’m pretty sure there is also a max bonus any UDFA can get so that no one player gets a big amount.

  8. johnycomments says: May 6, 2014 4:49 AM

    Seems to me they don’t want it to be too attractive for new players to skip the draft. That’s all there is behind this extra limit. tsk tsk.

  9. vavikingfan says: May 6, 2014 7:26 AM

    Well you know the NFL is cash starved so that’s all they can afford.

  10. DitkasHair says: May 6, 2014 8:15 AM

    You can guarantee SOMEONE will be paying the player more than $80K signing bonus; although I’m sure there are some who won’t make a dime.

  11. jagerbmb says: May 6, 2014 9:43 AM

    Smells like John Mara has been at it again… Can’t wait til he’s off the executive committee. I’m sure some team broke another “spirit of the law”.

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