Bad news, you weren’t drafted. Good news. You weren’t drafted.
With the NFL doing such a great job of marketing the draft, players have become brainwashed to believe that getting drafted or not getting drafted represents the ultimate moratorium on their football careers. But that’s not the case.
For many players, it’s better to not be drafted than to be drafted, especially when otherwise being drafted in round seven.
Players who aren’t drafted get to pick their first NFL teams, not the other way around. They get to, with the help of their agents (assuming they have good agents . . . and good luck working this out without an agent), scour depth charts, consider coaching staffs, assess offensive or defensive systems, and find the best place to try to make the 53-man roster.
If the player is in demand, his agent can negotiate a great deal. For example, quarterback Tyree Jackson reportedly received $75,000 guaranteed to sign with the Bills.
Based on last year’s contracts, 15 drafted players received less guaranteed money than that. Besides, the signing bonus in round seven is hardly a windfall. The first pick in round seven last year received $104,000 guaranteed, which after state and local taxes will be far less than that. It’s far better to be able to pick a place where there’s a better chance to earn the rookie minimum salary of $495,000.
So, yes, for plenty of players it’s much better to not have your first NFL destination determined by the team but determined by the player. Few think of it that way, however. If more did, more would realize that it would be far better for all players to have no draft at all.
Unfortunately, anyone who points out this ultimate example of capitalism is immediately labeled a communist.