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How much money do sixth round picks in the NFL Draft make?

We break down the details of rookie contracts for sixth round picks coming out of the 2023 NFL Draft.

A general overall view of the main stage at the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The final day of the 2023 NFL Draft has arrived and that means it’s time for the Tom Brady round. The recently retired quarterback famously dropped into the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, which means two things: 1) we’ll get a Tom Brady mention during the round and 2) it guarantees any quarterback selected in that round moving forward will probably get compared to the GOAT in some way by fans.

Brady ended up making a whole bunch of money in his career, but even before the current rookie wage scale, he was not making much on his first contract with the Patriots. Current sixth-round picks get a four-year contract with most of the guaranteed money coming in the signing bonus. Some might get part of their base salary guaranteed, but at this point in the draft, most players have to earn even their 2023 base salary.

What will the salary be for sixth-round picks in the NFL Draft?

The NFL has a rookie wage scale for all drafted players, courtesy of the CBA. The CBA provides for a minimum rookie salary of $750,000 in 2023. Players can make more than that, bust most rookie contracts will include a 2023 salary of $750,000.

Contract reference site Over The Cap provides a rundown of rookie cap numbers for this year’s class. The numbers might move a little, but this provides a solid framework to work from for determining how much each pick will make from 2023 through 2026.

The first pick of the sixth round will sign a contract worth approximately $4.070 million and receive a signing bonus of approximately $229,940. The second pick of the round will receive a $4.063 million contract with a $223,328 signing bonus. The numbers decrease each pick until the 40th pick where the player will receive a $3.98 million contract with a $140,440 signing bonus.

Salary escalators

Players drafted in the sixth round can earn a proven performance escalator (PPE). This was established in the CBA as a way for players outside the first round to earn additional money on their rookie contract. There are three levels of PPE and they are earned by playing a certain percentage of offensive or defensive snaps for a team over their first three seasons, and/or also by earning a Pro Bowl nod. If they earn a PPE, their fourth-year base salary will be increased. Over The Cap offers a complete breakdown of PPEs.