The 2022 NFL Draft is a little over two months away and the competition for the No. 1 pick is currently between Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. Plenty could change during the Combine and pre-draft workouts and a trade for a QB is never entirely off the table, but odds are good those two go top two or top three.
If that happens, Thibodeaux can breathe a bit of a sigh of relief. Thibodeaux, an LA native and Rams fan, told PFT Live on Wednesday that he has no interest in playing for the Rams because of the California state income tax rate. The maximum tax rate in California is 12.3%, which is the highest in the country.
The top five picks in the 2022 NFL Draft belong to the Jaguars, Lions, Texans, Jets, and Giants. Any player drafted by Jacksonville and Houston goes to a state with no state income tax. Meanwhile, Michigan has a state income tax that maxes out at 4.25% and New Jersey maxes out at 10.75%.
As PFT noted, this would not apply to all the money a player earns. The signing bonus and home game checks would be taxed at the rate of the home state, but a player pays taxes on road games at the rate of where the game is played.
Thibodeaux will not have to worry about a California team drafting him in April. The Los Angeles Chargers have the highest pick among California teams at No. 17. In fact, they are the only first round pick among California teams as the 49ers and Rams both traded away their first round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.