Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Signing Bonuses for the Undrafted Players and estimates for the Drafted Players

Word is the amount of salary cap that can be spent on the 2014 draft picks will be exactly the same as it was in 2013. That means that each draft pick this year should receive nearly the identical signing bonus (less the increase in the minimum wage) of a player who was selected in the same spot in the draft as last year. That also means we should be able to compute the rookie pool for the Detroit Lions. If my math is right, it will add up to $6,068,559. The Lions currently have about $1.009 million in available cap space, so obviously either Ndamukong Suh will need to agree to a new contract, one or more players will need to work out a cap saving contract adjustment, or some players will be cut before any draft picks can be signed. How much will the draft picks get upon signing their contracts? Let me put up some estimates here:

TE Eric Ebron estimated Signing Bonus $7,228,472
OLB43 Kyle Van Noy estimated Signing Bonus $2,030,620
OC Travis Swanson estimated Signing Bonus $619,472
CB Nevin Lawson estimated Signing Bonus $300,584
DE43 Larry Webster estimated Signing Bonus $300,584
DT43 Caraun Reid estimated Signing Bonus $188,880
WR T.J. Jones estimated Signing Bonus $106,200
K Nate Freese estimated Signing Bonus $59,424

Eleven of the undrafted free agents already have received their signing bonuses (or will on payday), as they have already signed their contracts. Each will have signed a contract for $420,000 in 2014 salary (if they make the team) and a signing bonus payable now of:

FB Chad Abram $7,500
G Alex Bullard $500
S Jerome Couplin $6,000
QB James Franklin $2,000
LB Justin Jackson $2,500
T Cornelius Lucas $20,000
S Gabe Lynn $2,500
TE Jacob Maxwell $3,000
G D.J. Morrell $2,500
WR Andrew Peac0ck $2,500
CB Mohammed Seisay $5,000
The amounts are negotiated by the Lions and the players agent and typically if more then a nominal amount it means another team was (or multiple teams were) also trying to talk the player into signing with them. Each team has a set amount of total signing bonus money they can spend, so a team who signs a lot of players will have less per player to bid with then a team with fewer players. A player may not go with the highest bidder though, if he thinks he has a better chance of making the roster with another team who is unable or unwilling to pay more he may still sign with that team.

I have already talked some about Jerome Couplin III and Cornelius Lucas in previous posts. Tonight I researched FB Chad Abram, FSU. A one year hard hitting starter who played Safety in High School. Bulked up to 236 pounds by his pro-day. Ran a 4.58 40. As a blocker he ran only a few plays with the rock, and had some catches as well (had only seven carries for 29 yards (4.1 ypc), but was a threat as a receiver out of the backfield...had nine receptions for 73 yards and had three touchdowns...caught an 11-yard touchdown in the BCS National Championship game). Played special teams all 4 years in college. More info on his pro-day is here: To make the final roster he needs to beat out Jed Collins and/or Montell Owens, or both (if they only keep 1 FB/TE). I highlighted Chad Abram as he was paid the 2nd highest signing bonus out of the 11 undrafted free agents I noted above. That doesn't mean he automatically will make the team, but it does mean the interest in seeing what he can do was high.

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