One of the best players not to get drafted cashed in as soon as the 2021 NFL draft came to an end.
Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson signed as an undrafted free agent with the Browns and got a $30,000 signing bonus plus $162,000 of his base salary guaranteed, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
That’s a massive guarantee for an undrafted rookie, and evidence that Wilson had multiple teams bidding on his services. Some players are, by the seventh round, hoping not to get drafted because the best contracts for undrafted free agents are better deals than seventh-round picks get. Wilson will get a much bigger guarantee than he would have received if he had been drafted late in the seventh round.
Wilson was a great high school player and one of the top recruits in the country when he chose Florida State, and if he had entered last year’s draft he surely would have been selected, perhaps in the first round. But he didn’t play quite as well in 2020 as he had in 2019, and his stock might have also been hurt in some teams’ eyes when he engaged in a public dispute with Florida State coach Mike Norvell and encouraged teammates to boycott practices after Norvell said he had talked to each player individually about the murder of George Floyd, a claim that Wilson called a “lie.”
It would be unfortunate for Wilson if some teams held that against him, but now he has an NFL home, with a team that clearly values him.