Each year the NFL minimum salaries increase by $15,000, up to $495,000 for a rookie in 2019. A player’s minimum salary is determined by his years of experience (YOE), ranging from 0 to 10 or more. The chart below shows the minimum (P5) salaries a team can contract a player to based on Years of Experience (credited seasons).
Veteran Minimum Benefits
When qualified, a player with four (4) or more years of NFL experience can earn his total minimum salary, but have a cap figure that reflects two years of experience – or in 2019, $645,000. The contract must be for only one year, and must not contain combined bonus money (signing, roster, workout) that exceeds $90,000.
For instance, let’s pretend Adrian Peterson re-signs with the Washington Redskins in 2019 on a 1 year, minimum salary contract. With 10+ years of experience, he’ll be slotted for a $1,030,000 base salary. Because he has four or more years of experience (11), and is signing a 1 year contract with the minimum base salary, AP qualifies for the veteran cap hit benefit. His 2019 cap figure with the Redskins would be $645,000.
Had he received a bonus (signing, roster, workout) up to the maximum $90,000, he would have received a total $1.12M contract, ($1.03M base salary, $90,000 signing bonus), but his cap figure would only be $735,000 (645+90).
With plenty of veterans being released, or not signed back thus far in 2019, the use of the Minimum Salary Benefit Rule becomes useful both for older players looking for jobs, and teams looking to minimize their cap dollars.
The majority of Reserve/Future contracts, as well as nearly all Undrafted Free Agent signings this summer will include a minimum base salary contract of one, two, or three years, with salaries of $495,000 in 2019, $585,000 in 2020, and an estimated $675,000 in 2021 (though that is subject to change per terms of a new CBA after 2020).
Restricted Free Agent Tenders (projected)
Most restricted free agents will be offered 1-year tenders this offseason rather than long-term extensions. Each year these tenders rise according to CBA regulation & the increase in league salary cap. We will update these projected RFA tenders as soon as they become official (once the league salary cap is set).
1st Round: $4,449,000
2nd Round: $3,124,000
Original Round: $2,045,000