Here's how much money players lose when they fall in the NFL Draft

Cork Gaines

In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, players and agents jockey for position to be one of the top picks in the draft and cash in with a lucrative contract. This is immensely important because if a player slips in the draft, they stand to lose millions.

Last year's top pick, Jared Goff, signed a contract worth $27.9 million, while the 12th pick received less than half of that at 12.8 million. In addition, only players in the first round received contracts that were at least 70% guaranteed. 

Things really drop in the second round, where the average contract was worth about $5.1 million over four years ($1.3 million per year), according to Spotrac.com, but with only half of that guaranteed. The value of third-round contracts drops to $3.3 million, but takes an even bigger hit in guaranteed value, with the average contract worth just $756,000 in guaranteed money.

Once a player falls past the third round, most draft picks will sign a 4-year deal in the $2.4-2.9 million range. The only major difference late in the draft is the signing bonus, ranging from $400,000-600,000 in the fourth round to slightly more than $60,000 in the seventh round.

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Diana Yukari/Business Insider

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