With the Rams strategically avoiding the use of any and all first-round picks, they won’t have a chance to select Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. And that’s good news for Thibodeaux.
A native of Los Angeles and a Rams fan, Thibodeaux told PFT Live on Wednesday that he doesn’t want to play for the Rams, for one specific reason: state income taxes.
In California, the current maximum tax rate is 12.3 percent. For Thibodeaux, his rookie contract will be a fixed amount based on draft position, with no ability to negotiate a higher amount to make up for the state income taxes.
That’s another reason for Thibodeaux to hope the Jaguars choose him over Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. In Florida, the state income tax rate remains zero-point-zero.
The Lions have the second pick. Michigan’s tax rate is 4.25 percent.
The Texans choose third. Texas, like Florida, does not pocket-picking by way of state income tax.
If Thibodeaux slides past three, that could be a problem. The Jets and Giants have the fourth and fifth picks, respectively. New Jersey’s maximum rate is 10.75 percent.
If he makes it to No. 6, North Carolina has a 5.25-percent rate.
Although the tax rate of a player’s new home state doesn’t apply to every penny earned (for road games, the tax rate in the state where the game is played applies), the signing bonus will be the biggest chunk of Thibodeaux’s rookie contract. It will be taxed at the rate applicable to the state where the check is issued.
So what does that mean in dollars and cents? Last year, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence received a signing bonus of $24.1 million. He paid nothing in state income tax.
Jets quarterback Zack Wilson, the second pick, was paid signing bonus of $23.5 million. He surrendered $2.52 million of that amount to New Jersey.
Likewise, 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, the third pick, landed a signing bonus of $22.1 million. He paid a whopping $2.71 million to California.